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Old 02-26-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
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Mounting solar panels

I am adding two flexible panels to my 27 Eddie Bauer, the dealer riveted the first panel, has anyone mounted panels to the roof.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:56 AM   #2
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You will find lots of threads here about that if you do some searching. People have been attaching solar panels to the roof, with screws or rivets, from the very beginning. You can also look at the AM Solar website, the experts of choice, for many.

Larry
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by fireleu6169 View Post
I am adding two flexible panels to my 27 Eddie Bauer, the dealer riveted the first panel, has anyone mounted panels to the roof.
If you have not purchased the Flexible solar panels. You may want to look into there longevity. Most have very bad reviews.



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Old 02-26-2020, 08:19 AM   #4
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We used stainless steel 'L Foot' brackets we purchased from AM Solar - check out their website under the Mounting Hardware tab. One decision that we made was to screw (with sealant) the feet into the roof using stainless steel screws - some may find this controversial, however, it has proven to be a good decision over 4 years. Just couldn't go with the 3M VDB tape alone even though I am a fan of that tape product.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:39 AM   #5
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My two year old Go Power panels look like this. No support or concern from manufacturer. Now I have to start over...
Flex panels? Never again.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-07-2020, 10:08 AM   #6
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Yep flex panels do not hold up more than a couple of years.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:26 PM   #7
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Mounting solar panels

Some of the newer panels made in the last year or two have better materials that they are using (ETFE). Renogy’s flex panels now have a 5 year warranty, the same as their rigid panels. Only time will tell how they hold up, but I took a chance on them myself.
We put 6 of them on ours using strips of 3M dual-lock SJ3870. If the panels ever fail, I can peel them off and replace them. The dual-lock strips also provide an air gap and path for circulation to keep the panels cool and not transfer heat into the trailer.
I was originally planning to also do a bead of sikaflex on the leading and tailing edges, but they were so secure with just the dual-lock, I decided against it. They’ve been on about 8 months now and have been in everything from freezing cold and snow to 90s and sun. They’ve been from Alaska to California and in winds so strong numerous trees were being blown over, but they are still on just as secure as the day I installed them.
The second picture shows how I put the mating strips on the roof - I attached them to the panel loosely at each end, peeled the vhb backing, then laid the whole panel on the roof (you only get one shot), removed the panel leaving the mating strips, then firmly work each strip pressing it to the roof.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by AKNate View Post
Some of the newer panels made in the last year or two have better materials that they are using (ETFE). Renogy’s flex panels now have a 5 year warranty, the same as their rigid panels. Only time will tell how they hold up, but I took a chance on them myself.
We put 6 of them on ours using strips of 3M dual-lock SJ3870. If the panels ever fail, I can peel them off and replace them. The dual-lock strips also provide an air gap and path for circulation to keep the panels cool and not transfer heat into the trailer.
I was originally planning to also do a bead of sikaflex on the leading and tailing edges, but they were so secure with just the dual-lock, I decided against it. They’ve been on about 8 months now and have been in everything from freezing cold and snow to 90s and sun. They’ve been from Alaska to California and in winds so strong numerous trees were being blown over, but they are still on just as secure as the day I installed them.
The second picture shows how I put the mating strips on the roof - I attached them to the panel loosely at each end, peeled the vhb backing, then laid the whole panel on the roof (you only get one shot), removed the panel leaving the mating strips, then firmly work each strip pressing it to the roof.
Having used 3M Dual Lock for a variety of things, my guess is you have enough. More than enough.
Half as much probably would have been plenty.
I predict that they will not come off.
I’m interested to see how those panels perform over the long haul. Please keep us posted.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:09 AM   #9
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An issue I’ve seen with flex panels is sagging between the mounting points, so I wanted to be sure the strips were close enough together that the curvature of the panel would be enough to keep it rigid and not allow sag. If you were mounting something rigid, four strips would probably be plenty - it’s strong stuff. Just be careful which you use. 3M makes probably 50 different versions with different properties designed for different applications. They have a good application guide for dual-lock available. Also, as with everything, attentions to detail and surface prep are highly important.
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Old 03-16-2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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An issue I’ve seen with flex panels is sagging between the mounting points, so I wanted to be sure the strips were close enough together that the curvature of the panel would be enough to keep it rigid and not allow sag. If you were mounting something rigid, four strips would probably be plenty - it’s strong stuff. Just be careful which you use. 3M makes probably 50 different versions with different properties designed for different applications. They have a good application guide for dual-lock available. Also, as with everything, attentions to detail and surface prep are highly important.

I have failed flex panels.. maybe I will try again. Have you measured your peak output at initial installation and noticed any drop off over the last year?

How did you route the wires to the MPPT?
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:53 PM   #11
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I installed them in Alaska last summer and am now on my way through California, so I don’t have a constant solar input to compare. Overall my solar has been increasing lately, but that is probably mostly because of the season and latitude. My general feeling based on nothing scientific is they are still the same. I see no discoloration of the plastic or any degradation. My max power today was 592 W.
I used the factory pre-wire, connecting to the port on the roof. I did a three series of two parallels each for ~10A @ 60 V.
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