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Solar Panels on Roof = How to Protect Bus from Heat of Sun?


dawnapach

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Hello! I have a question about my bus to house conversion. I want to install solar panels, however I realize that this means I will need to be parked in full sun to get optimum power. I live in Mexico and it is HOT (I'm originally from Ontario!). I have two dogs and will not have air conditioning (and most likely not even a fridge!). I am curious how much the panels I install will protect the bus from the sun, and also if there are any recommendations to cover the part of the roof where there are no panels. Thank you for any advice! Here is my facebook page if you want to have a visual of the project: https://www.facebook.com/casamion/

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Im not sure Im following your plan, you mean you're using the panels themselves as the "roof"???? If mounted on a regular RV roof and they aren't the thin flexible panels they are raised up off the roof to allow for ventilation and cooling underneath between the panel bottom and RV roof. If the panel is somehow the "roof" itself, being they are a darker (blue) color they absorb rather then reflect heat, have no insulation value, and I think it would heat up an RV much worse then if you had a standard insulated light color roof. I don't understand how you intend to place and stack and organize them to make any sort of rainproof enclosure.

 

Sure, parking in full sun yields harvesting more solar energy, but also a tilt towards the sun greatly improves their output.

 

Sorry I dont understand your question

 

John T

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Have to throw in my 2c worth. We have two 190 watt panels that are free standing and are more than enough to keep our 420 amphour batteries full. We dont have to park in the sun, can tilt the panels to optimize solar collection and even move the panels around on cloudy days to get the most out of what sun there is. Most days our batteries are full by noon and we dont need to move the panels at all, just point them south.We built a carrier that goes on the back of our 5er to carry the panels safely and it takes about 10 minutes to set them up. The only down side is that we dont generate power while traveling. Details http://pjsnowbird.ca/index.php/tutorials/installation. Sorry if this is useless info but I think you might find free standing panels might have some advantages over mounting on roof.

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I don't have solar panels but understand his question, because I have thought of it too. I believe he is asking what he can place on his roof where the solar panels are not covering to insulate and protect his RV roof. The area under the solar panels would be essentially shaded and somewhat protected by the shadow of the solar panel. He is looking for a product that would offer similar protection to the roof of his RV. Hope that helps and doesn't further confuse.

 

Rod

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I'm not sure what you'll be using the solar for, but a couple portable ones might be the way to go. If you're thinking the panels on the roof will keep the inside of the coach cooler...won't happen. It doesn't take long for ours to heat up inside if we're in direct sun. Remember solar panels absorb sunlight, not repel it.

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Kinsey " We have two 190 watt panels that are free standing and are more than enough to keep our 420 amphour batteries full."

 

Similar, I have four 100 watt panels fixed on rooftop and 460 Amp Hours of battery energy storage and that more then satisfies all our modest energy requirements (29 ft Class C., all LED lighting) even if its a cloudy day or Im NOT parked in full sunlight. Of course, those who require more energy need more of each.

 

John T

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I had the exact same concerns about installing solar panels on the roof. I would love to do this but do not want to park in the direct sun all the time. Having lived in Tx all my life and battled the heat and damage that the suns rays can do to any surface that is left out in it, it's just not something I want to happen to our RV roof and exterior paint. I had read on another thread about using portable units and thought that was a great idea till I started trying to figure out where I could store them and the brackets/stands that they are mounted to. T you folks that have the portable units, where do you store the solar cells and all the stands/mounting hardware that goes with them when you are travelling??

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T you folks that have the portable units, where do you store the solar cells and all the stands/mounting hardware that goes with them when you are travelling??

We have a pair of 75 w panels paralleled to maintain the batteries on the Kenworth while sitting. The smaller size is easier to handle and store. The simple stand on edge at the front of the basement storage bay. They mount on Unistrut brand electrical supports. I'm currently using galvanized pieces, as I got them free from a reno project. I will replace the galvanized with aluminium at some point. This will cut the weight of the rack by better than half, with minimal loss of strength. The price difference isn't horrible, and I will probably be able to salvage the sizes needed within the next year.

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Good to know John, we do use a bit of power - microwave, TV, 4 computers. When I first posted in the forums about my planned setup I was told I'd be lucky if I had enough power to boil a cup of water.Things are getting better and people are more knowledgeable today.

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