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Solar Panel Mounts


Daveh

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I am planning on installing three large grid panels on a EPDM roof. I would like to have the panels up at the level of vents and skylights to avoid shadowing. I would appreciate suggestions on brand and number of brackets. Thanks Dave

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You might consider a racking system to support the center of the large panels. If you tie it into the sides of the trailer, no roof holes are needed and you can raise it to the height you require. As an added benefit it will also keep the panels perfectly flat, not following the curve of the roof. You could even build it yourself, like this fellow did. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/TruckPV/TruckPV.htm When it comes time to service the roof the solar system will be easier to remove and you will save dozens of holes in the roof and a couple tubes of Dicor.

 

Here's a unique side mount solar panel. I could envision a "solar awning" mounted to the side of an RV, shading the front door too. http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago108.html Just an unusual, yet innovative idea allowing you to angle your panels for maximum output without climbing on the roof.

 

Chip

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If you mean that you are considering mounting them up about 10" on stand-offs you will need to carefully consider how you do it. I suspect there will be a lot more wind turbulence if they're up that high. If I were going to do it that way I'd mount them on storage boxes.

 

Mine are in series but it does NOT look like there is much of an issue with shading since that only occurs very early or very late in the day when the angle of incidence is quite acute anyway. My two Unisolar panels are mounted directly to the fiberglass rooftop (glued) and the two solid panels are on 1-1/2" standoff mounts. It's interesting that the solid panels shade the roof and the inside roof is cooler where they are but the glued-down panels greatly increase the inside ceiling temps where they are mounted.

 

All-in-all, I prefer the shade effect. :P

 

WDR

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The racking system is something to consider, might be more than I want to take on. I do really like the sidemount idea but that may be a phase two project.

 

WDR, I was not clear. I only want the tops of the panels to be 2-3 inches off the roof. I was just looking for options currently available. Thank you both for taking the time to respond.

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AM solar sells roof mounts for the 2-3" you're talking about. I actually made my own out of sheet aluminum patterned after the AM mounts. Pretty easy to do. Mount with stainless screws and lots of Dicor.

 

Rich

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If just going that high you can fabricate your own mounts from aluminum. Or rack them across discussed. Racking them is pretty straightforward. Build your own racks from 1.5x1.5" aluminum (or similar) - just make sure the edges of the aluminum do not shade the panel cells near the edge....

 

John Palmer also sells three heights of preformed mounts.

 

Really, it is pretty easy to find mounts. I have several references on my website.

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If just going that high you can fabricate your own mounts from aluminum. Or rack them across discussed. Racking them is pretty straightforward. Build your own racks from 1.5x1.5" aluminum (or similar) - just make sure the edges of the aluminum do not shade the panel cells near the edge....

 

John Palmer also sells three heights of preformed mounts.

 

Really, it is pretty easy to find mounts. I have several references on my website.

 

 

Jack was it you that mounted your panels to Unistrut rails? I thought I read that somewhere, but could not find it on your website. If so how did it work out, I'm thinking about doing it on my install.

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Jack was it you that mounted your panels to Unistrut rails? I thought I read that somewhere, but could not find it on your website. If so how did it work out, I'm thinking about doing it on my install.

Not me..... The Unistrut rails tend to be pretty high priced last time I looked at them. If rail mounting I tend to use 1.5" aluminum angle with a center support. It is effective and lower priced than the commercial rail systems. The commercial systems are excellent and pretty much required in mounting to houses, trackers, piers, etc. But not necessary (IMO) for RV mounting.

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