Mounting options for "wide" solar panels with overhang.
I'm upgrading out 16' Bambi to 200 watts of solar power. I am using two AM Solar SP100 panels, shown here:
It's not a "wide" panel, but the problem is one of width. In fact I chose it because of its narrow width: just 21.3". This allows me to position the two panels "in tandem" on the driver's side of the trailer- one up from, and one to the rear. The combined length may overhang beyond the roof at the rear, but only by a few inches onto the flat portion of the cap.
But here's my dilemma: The rear panel needs to squeeze itself into the space between the edge of the A/C to the side roof seam. That is 21.5 inches. It would be best to put a little gap from the A/C, let's say an inch. That places the outer edge of the panel beyond the outer seam of the roof by a tad- no more than an inch. My dilemma is exactly what mounting feet and technique I should use. If the long edge of the solar panel is slightly beyond the roof seam, I can't put feet there. I can only put feet on the other three sides, and no feet that overlap the seam. This means any feet on the front and back ends of the solar panel have to by placed in from the corner.
I find documentation on the options of where to mount lacking in showing my options. BTW, no drilling. I'd like to use VHB tape and caulk to attach the panel legs. Any advice would be welcome!
Suggest you review the following:
Mounting - look at the post by Lewster
Mounting brackets: look at the install by troutboy on page 3. He goes into great detail/photos. I'd also recommend doubling the feet on the forward edge of the panel (also recommended by Lewster). You don't mention anything about the combiner box if you have one or ordered one from AM Solar. Troutboy has good info on that also.
I think I have a solution
Those links were exactly what I needed. Especially Troutboy's installation. He had the EXACT SAME PANELS as mine (AM Solar SP100), and THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM locating them next to the A/C. His solution, relocating the mounting feet attach points, is exactly the solution I was looking for. I contacted AM Solar, and they verified I could do this. I will order the standard AM Solar feet, put the ones on the leading edge of the panel back-to-back, and drill into the panels and the feet to change the mounting position for the outside edge of the panel next to the A/C.
My last remaining issue is if there is any problem if I attach two feet for the rear panel to the cap behind the roof, instead of the roof. The panel extends just a wee bit onto the cap area, but the area that stays level with the roof.
I'm mounting the AM Solar SP100 panels (2 of them) on my 16' Bambi, following the instructions documented by Troutboy in the above thread. I did not have to build an aluminum extension to the roof over the cap, as Troutboy did. That was necessary on a 23' FC, as the roof is raised compared to the cap. In my Bambi, the cap and roof are in line.
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