Solar panel installed on roof rails

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Ridgeway, May 2, 2014.

  1. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    I will install my 100w panel in the coming days and whilst planning the location on the roof I thought that It may be possible to use the existing factory fitted roof rails to mount the panel on to.

    [​IMG]

    The location would be in the top right hand of the picture i.e. up against the side rail and in between the 2 sun roofs.

    My idea is to use some mate bolts that would slide into the rails (see Alu profile below) and then drill relevant holes on the Alu C profile of the panel, these would be secured with relevant nuts and washers and then some thread lock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    I have seen them used before using ali angle between the cross rails and then the panel fixed to them. make sure you use stainless steel fittings though to prevent rust which will corrode the cross rails very quickly
     
  3. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Here is one where I used two sizes of stainless steel U bolts. Just to offer ideas

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Fitted mine on the Adria and a friends on a Rapido to the roof rails, no problems.
    Used alloy box section and stainless screws with nyloc nuts.
     
  5. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    I like the U bolt idea, will search some out tomorrow.
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Forget threadlock just use nylock nuts

    I doubt either method will work as your rails are too close to the roof for you to get your hand under the panel and fit/tighten the nuts.
    Personally I would remove two rails and have free reign
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  7. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Cheers Andy, shame we couldn't have met up for the install at Easter, gives me something to do at the weekend though:Wink:
     
  8. seanoo

    seanoo Funster

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    i have done the same , only i have hinges down one edge of the panel so i can prop it up and take full advantage of the low winter sun making the panels useful all year.
     
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  9. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    ok mounted with some U bolts but as Andy had pointed out with the rails beinf so close to the roof i had to make some 25mm spacers so i could get my hand in to tighten the nuts. All is extremely secure and most of the cable is run as well. Like this I can easily add another panel to the left at a later date and still leave space for aircon or a roofbox at the back, plus it's located just behind the luton's bump so hopefully it won't add too much drag
     
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  10. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    job done.

    [​IMG]

    would have been easier with rachet ring 13mm spanner due to that tight access inbetween the panel and the roof but hey then it wouldnt have been as much fun...

    [​IMG]

    Sunny days ahead:Wink:
     
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  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Sorry I could have told you that :Laughing:
    I also made sure the U bolt threads were not overly long

    EDIT Nice job matey :thumb:
     
  12. Jimbohorlicks

    Jimbohorlicks Funster

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    Hi Andy
    I am about to take the plunge and purchase a couple of 100w panels -I intend to fit them to the roof bars which are already on my Sundance, similar to the pictures you show, but down each side of the roof vent
    can you please advise how the u bolts fasten to the panels -i cant see any of the threaded U bolt ends or any holes in the panels where they bolt to.
    if you have any photos that would be great.How many u bolts were used per panel -any attached midway for example?
    :helpsos:

    cheers
    jim
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  13. geo glasgow

    geo glasgow Read Only Funster

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    i like this idea


    make it so it can be tilted to the sun, very cool..
    :thumb:
     
  14. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Four U bolts
    Drill the frame
    Shorten the threads so just long enough to take a full nyloc nut
     
  15. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Nice job, you could get another 3 up there!
    Allan
     
  16. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Same as Andy did. I positioned the panel on the bars and then marked out the locations for the holes. The Alu profile on the panels is a C profile so there is an approx 30mm lip underneath that you don't see on the pictures. Just drill the 8 holes with a slightly oversize bit as it will be easier to locate them afterwards.

    My bars are very close to the roof so I fitted some spaces to lift up the panel away from the roof and allow me to get my hand under to tighten the 8 nylon nuts, having said that I realised afterwards that a ratchet ring spanner would have saved me a lot of bother:thumb:
     
  17. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Been using the 1 for the last few months and it's been great to be able to avoid hook ups on sites. Not done any long stints yet so maybe another 100w panel could go up there soon:Wink:
     
  18. shawn&emma

    shawn&emma Funster

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    Self install/insurance

    I wanted to put solar on my roof myself but thought I'd better check with my insurance company, they said NO as they had to bit fitted professionally with certificate/receipts supplied. Am I with the wrong insurer or should I just not tell them? Annoying when I'm more than capable of fitting them myself. Cheers Shawn
     
  19. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Our roof rails slide along the siderails so they can be repositioned anywhere along the roof. They are 'I' section and are exactly the right size to fit the solar panels into. One rail tightened, slot panel in, move 2nd rail along, slot other side of panel in and tighten the bolts that secure crossrails to sidebars - job done. Takes about 4 minutes to fit or remove a panel.

    :thumb:
     
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  20. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    We have a puny 30w panel and 2 x 105ah batteries. Even in December we were able to spend 2 weeks travelling around with no EHU. Thinking about upgrading the panel soon. The controller will cope with 120w so I might go for one of those
    Allan
     
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