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Old 07-29-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Solar Panel on AC Cover?

I won a 40w solar panel as door prize on the weekend.
I know it's not a lot of power but it's free and I have dual Honda 2000's for when I need major power.

My Safari does not have a lot of available roof space, what with the AC, 3 roof vents, and the antenna. The AC shroud appears to be a logical place to mount the panel, un obstructed, and I don't have to drill any holes in the roof.
Is there any reason not to mount the panel on the AC shroud?
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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I would make brackets that fasten to the shroud where the screws are that hold the shroud on.(through the plastic shroud and into the metal frame of the airconditioner). I really don't think the plastic will support the solar panel. Otherwise it is a good choice. Also remember that your overall height will increase.
Al
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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I would worry about the strength of the shroud to support the panel, assuming it hangs over the shroud at all. The shrouds I have seen are not very strong and the additional mass up there, and the vibrations it could cause might be a problem. If you can find some way to anchor it differently, it is a good location.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:15 PM   #4
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Being a plastic composite material the shroud is subject to deterioration over time. Mine shattered on removal during a routine servicing. If I were to mount a panel there, I would ensure the panel was anchored to the AC unit itself, or the trailer roof. Keep in mind this will make access to service your AC more diffficult, but hey, free power is a good thing! Have you thought about using it as a portable charger located on the ground by connecting via a controller directly to your batteries? This way, you can still park in the shade while your panel sits in the sun and does all the work!
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