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installed third solar panel


rbertalotto

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So here it is December in New England. A few weeks ago my solar supplier, AltE had a price reduction and then a 10% off sale. So I took a ride up there and bought another 140w / 12V panel like the other two already installed.

And of course, we have been having extremely mild weather here in Southeastern Massachusetts for weeks. But as soon as I want to work on the trailer, the temperature plummets! So my plan was to take the panel with me to Arizona when I go down there in February, and install it there.

But today we get one last reprieve before the cold arctic blast hits tomorrow. Today, in the sun , it was 62 degrees! Tomorrow it is supposed to go down to 20 degrees and stay there for a week or more.

So up on the roof, tools in hand, and installed the third panel. Only took about an hour and that included making the aluminum angle iron brackets to mount the panel to the roof.

Fortunately I had planned on a third panel so the space for it was available and nothing had to be relocated. Now 420w….Two Group 31 batteries…I think I got the balance just right!

Screwed down, sealed, connected….DONE!

DSC00406-vi.jpg

http://images16.fotki.com/v388/photos/2/36012/13805932/DSC00406-vi.jpg

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NICE JOB CONGRATS,,,,,,,,Hope there's no shading problems caused by the AC. The Amish I bought my panels from (235 watt units for .90 per watt) use FIBERGLASS angles and channel instead of aluminum for frames and mounts. Very easy to drill and work with.

 

Suck up that sun now

 

John T

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How come your text is highlighted? lol

 

If you copy/paste into the forum it tries and usually fails to get the same formatting that you had in the program you are copying from.

 

Two ways to avoid that, easy is when you paste use your right-click menu to "paste without formatting" or "paste as plain text" if your browser offers that. The second way is to use the little toggle icon above the "B" bold formatting button to switch the forum to plain text mode before you paste, switch it back on after pasting.

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I like the idea of that sliding system when you have limited real estate. It looks like he needs more extension on his slides though. The back row of cells looks to be shaded by the upper panel when it is extended. It's hard to tell though if he was pulling it all the way out while he was up on the roof.

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looks like he needs more extension on his slides though.

 

Agreed. It's a nice concept, but needs some finessing. Further extension 3"-4" past the upper panel. The locking bar needs to lock. Vibrations could cause the bar to disengage while driving. Needs to lock in position when extended.

 

RoyB, Nice! If I had any suggestions at all for future reference.. I might suggest leaving a good 1-1/2" to 2" gap between the roof and bottom of the panels for improved air flow (cooler panels produce more energy). It might also help a bit with shading issues when they are a tad higher. The only other thing would be to maybe use varying sized mounts so that the panels can be mounted horizontally (despite the curves in the roof), or at least all three panels oriented at the same pitch in the same direction.

 

Minor things, really.. just "tweaks".

 

Gonna love that extra juice I'm sure!

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aluminum angle iron.... :P

 

Eternabond tape is used to secure the wires.

 

I have no idea why the text is highlighted. Maybe because I cut and pasted from my web page? ( I also have no idea why this text is BOLD!)

 

No concern about shading of AC. The panels are parallel, I'll just lose a bit of output.

 

The panels are 1.25" off the deck for airflow beneath. Hard to see in the picture.

 

Last year with only two panels, the only time I used the generator was when parked in deep shade and using lots of electronic devices while working (Cell Booster, LapTop, 24" computer monitor.....) Three panels should be "Mo Betta"

 

Thanks for the comments!

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