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Old 11-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
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Adhesives for mounting flexible solar panels

Are adhesives preferred over drilling holes for mounting 100w flexible solar panels?
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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Are adhesives preferred over drilling holes for mounting 100w flexible solar panels?
So who wants to go first?


George
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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Since no one is answering I'll make a guess. Assuming that your mounting them on the roof of the trailer, remember every hole becomes a possible future leak point. On the other hand. I would make sure I used an adhesive that can be removed at a later time with a solvent.

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Old 11-08-2014, 09:29 PM   #4
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If by adhesive you mean a special tape like 3M makes for this purpose (VHB)then yes. It is not necessary to use screws and just provides a new place for leaks.


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Old 11-08-2014, 09:39 PM   #5
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Put out a PM to Lewster. You can search for him on Air Forums or check out some of his posts. He can give you the correct ones to use since he's probably done a hundred solar panel installations. I do know he recommends never drilling holes.




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Old 11-08-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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OK..........here's do what I do. Any adhesive that comes off with a solvent will not be strong enough to keep the panels on the roof.......

3M-VHB tape and SikaFlex 221 in grey....unless you have a white roof........then use 221 in white! They WILL NOT come off and will follow the roof contour nicely too!!!!
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:59 PM   #7
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Sigh. I don't trust adhesives that much. Ours is up there with rivets and sealant under, over, around and through. No leaks detected.


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Old 11-08-2014, 11:08 PM   #8
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Sigh. I don't trust adhesives that much. Ours is up there with rivets and sealant under, over, around and through. No leaks detected.


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There's always a plus side. If it starts leaking, you can get another identical trailer and mount its shell on top of yours and have a two story.


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Old 11-08-2014, 11:24 PM   #9
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I have a 140 watt (none flexible panel) mounted on my 25FB with 3m vhb tape. It isn't going anywhere.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:29 PM   #10
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We live in the CA desert. AS is stored in a lot of high altitude sunshine. I've had all kinds of plastic or rubber stuff just quietly de-polymerize and fall apart. It's a major problem around here. Aluminum is immune to this, and I can always clean and apply more sealant to the brackets and rivets.


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Old 11-09-2014, 08:38 AM   #11
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We live in the CA desert. AS is stored in a lot of high altitude sunshine. I've had all kinds of plastic or rubber stuff just quietly de-polymerize and fall apart. It's a major problem around here. Aluminum is immune to this, and I can always clean and apply more sealant to the brackets and rivets.


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TRUST THE FORCE............of VHB tape!

I would think that after AM SOLAR has installed thousands of solar panels exclusively with 3M VHB tape and a covering sealant (they use Dicor, I use SikaFlex ) that the proof is out there. It is also used extensively in the auto and truck industry as a bonding agent for attaching things like door skins and roofs. THEY DON'T COME OFF EITHER!!!!

I have never put a screw into an AM Solar mounting foot when they have been installed on a proper roof substrate, and never will. Still waiting to hear about a lost panel. They just DON"T come off when properly installed!!

You're trailer......you're holes.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:52 AM   #12
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Lewster,

Could you please be more specific about the application or use of the "covering sealant"?

Thanks,

>>ron<<
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:16 AM   #13
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The flexible panels I installed came with an adhesive on the backside with a paper peel.
Peel the paper stick it down and done.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:21 AM   #14
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First, surface preparation is key. If using SikaFlex, NEVER use alcohol !! Use mineral spirits, carb/brake cleaner, etc.

Once the surface is prepped, you can stick down the VHB tape. Apply some pressure to set.

I then run a small bead if SikaFlex around the panel foot base and cover the 2 holes in the base. These are for screws used when mounting on any surface that is not smooth.

Use a gloved finger to smooth the SikaFlex around the edges and over the top. You're now done! The SikaFlex is a great sealant and also is a little extra insurance as it has great bonding and adhesive properties.

For flex panels, use small squares of VHB to stick the panels down and then seal the entire edge with SikaFlex.


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Old 11-09-2014, 12:50 PM   #15
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Sigh. Our panels did not come with tape. So we got to drill holes in a shiny new to us roof.

Lester, If I add more panels, I'll try it your way. At very least it would be easier to line up. We struggled to get rivets, sealant and brackets in the right spot on that slippery roof.


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Old 11-09-2014, 02:51 PM   #16
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Sigh. Our panels did not come with tape. So we got to drill holes in a shiny new to us roof.

Lester, If I add more panels, I'll try it your way. At very least it would be easier to line up. We struggled to get rivets, sealant and brackets in the right spot on that slippery roof.


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You just need to more selective about where you buy your equipment.
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Old 11-09-2014, 02:54 PM   #17
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Was my son's purchase and I just helped him install the setup. Dunno where he bought it. It does work quite nicely. Only issue is panel is a bit too far forward to put a cover over the front Fantastic Fan like he did on the rear one.


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Old 07-02-2016, 09:08 PM   #18
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First, surface preparation is key. If using SikaFlex, NEVER use alcohol !! Use mineral spirits, carb/brake cleaner, etc.

Once the surface is prepped, you can stick down the VHB tape. Apply some pressure to set.

For flex panels, use small squares of VHB to stick the panels down and then seal the entire edge with SikaFlex.
A couple questions on this.

When cleaning a surface with mineral spirits, can you apply vhb immediately after (assuming dry) or do you wait for some period of time?

For flex panels (yes I understand the opinions/issues with them) you suggested small squares of vhb. I was going to do the entire edges with half inch vhb, is that overkill? Seeing (on the intertubes) much heavier glass panels mounted with 5" brackets and vhb, it feels like it is unnecessary to run vhb the entire length of all four sides. Sikaflex 221 will be used on the edges and screw holes.

Do you do anything to prep the backside of the panels themselves?

My panels btw are 24v 135watt, I plan to run 2 in series/2 parallel to get 48volts, that should bring my loss down to 1-2% over 10 gauge.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:12 AM   #19
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A couple questions on this.

When cleaning a surface with mineral spirits, can you apply vhb immediately after (assuming dry) or do you wait for some period of time?

For flex panels (yes I understand the opinions/issues with them) you suggested small squares of vhb. I was going to do the entire edges with half inch vhb, is that overkill? Seeing (on the intertubes) much heavier glass panels mounted with 5" brackets and vhb, it feels like it is unnecessary to run vhb the entire length of all four sides. Sikaflex 221 will be used on the edges and screw holes.

Do you do anything to prep the backside of the panels themselves?

My panels btw are 24v 135watt, I plan to run 2 in series/2 parallel to get 48volts, that should bring my loss down to 1-2% over 10 gauge.
Not a bad plan.......what are you using for a solar charge controller?????
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:51 PM   #20
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Not a bad plan.......what are you using for a solar charge controller?????
A Tracer 4215bn mppt.

Really curious though about the vbh use, if I should go all around the edges or just use a few squares.
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