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How did you attach your solar panels to the roof? I plan to bolt through or next to the cross beams. I would like to keep the panel frames about one half inch above the roof while keeping the attachments out of the valleys for cleaning purpose. Frames like they use on houses are too tall and those brackets they sell at Renogy and Amozon are too flimsy. I’m thinking that 70mph travel with maybe 20 mph head wind gusts is not uncommon and I have seen pictures of those thin aluminum brackets ripped apart.:eek: Am I over thinking this with bolts through the beams instead of sheet metal screws in thin aluminum brackets? Have you done something similar to what I am thinking about?
 
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but I, like most people, am not like "most people".
I'll learn something maybe if you tell me how you used it.
hmmm, you asked a question how people are installing panels, "most people" are taping with dicor over the top. Use the search tool. Like you, I as well am not "most people". ;) I had a Rhino Rack roof rack leftover from my truck, and I have three panels so I decided to mount them using aluminum "L stock" attached to the roof rack tracks. If I only had one panel I definitely would have 3m taped it with dicor over the top. Lots of build write-ups detailing this method if you use google. I don't have any images of my setup yet.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I used heavy aluminium angles to attach my large solar panel.



I used SikaFlex to glue and seal the panel down and also used one 1/4 inch stainless screw on each of the four attachments -- did not quite trust the adhesive alone. After going through some very strong wind conditions, I'd still not trust adhesive alone, but maybe I'm too conservative.

The panel has stayed on for four years with no issues. It has been exposed to 60 mph cross winds while traveling 65 mph down the road.

I set it up so that the PV panel was nearly touching the van roof at the center and put a dab of silicone between the center of panel and the roof to reduce vibration of the panel.

Lots of detail on my mounting here: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-co...romaster-van-conversion-solar-panel-mounting/

Gary
 

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I have two 100w panels, I could not use the factory panel mounting holes. Made my own so the mounts would be on the ridges. I used aluminum angle from the big box store, each angle has one horizontal and one vertical hole, SS bolts and locking nuts, (by using one bolt the angles can pivot to conform to the roof curve), smeared Dicor as a gasket, used left over flat stock aluminum on the inside.
 

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2015 Promaster 3500 159 Ext gas silver
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How did you attach your solar panels to the roof? I plan to bolt through or next to the cross beams. I would like to keep the panel frames about one half inch above the roof while keeping the attachments out of the valleys for cleaning purpose. Frames like they use on houses are too tall and those brackets they sell at Renogy and Amozon are too flimsy. I’m thinking that 70mph travel with maybe 20 mph head wind gusts is not uncommon and I have seen pictures of those thin aluminum brackets ripped apart.:eek: Am I over thinking this with bolts through the beams instead of sheet metal screws in thin aluminum brackets? Have you done something similar to what I am thinking about?
I made my own 304 SS brackets out of .040" material and used 3M VHB tape and SS pop rivets to secure them to the roof. The Sunpower E20-327 panels mount crossways on the roof. I left enough gap that I could clean underneath. Just returned from a 2k mile trip mostly around 70mph and no sign of any issues with the panels. Note - after the pics were taken I covered the rivets with Dicor.
 

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I also want a gap to be able to clean underneath. Things go green and slimy really fast here on the wet-coast.

I'll be fabricating a variation on the system Hein developed for ganging two Renogy 100W panels together. They are oriented crossways then bolted together side by side and framed all round with aluminum angle. The frame angles at the front and back extend outward a bit and rest on four custom-fab mounts VHB taped to the outer roof ridges, the ones just inward of the nub posts. It's a very clean, efficient use of roof real estate. The solar wire pass-through box even fits underneath so there is minimal wire exposed. I'll post a photo when it's finished.

I'm still debating whether to install an air dam/spoiler along the leading edge. Gaps can have their drawbacks. If I wasn't trying to mind the gap, I'd probably go with RD's simple method, so eloquently described below ;)
 

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I just went to H-D and bought 4’ of the lightest weight aluminum 2” extrusion L stock they had. then I cut 8-4” sections of it and used two self taping screws to attach each of them to the perimeter of my Renogy 100 watt panels, 4 per panel, added VHB tape to the bottoms, drove one self taping #14 screw through the predrilled hole in them into the roof, Dicor over the screw. Done by 10 am, wired into the solar controller by noon, beer and fish tacos for lunch with KOV who helped tread the wires inside and made sarcastic comments about my diesel. Lots of fun.
 

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I used 1' long pieces of 2x2 angle aluminum with VHB tape to stick my panels to the roof. I put rivnuts into the aluminum frame of the solar panels and ran bolts through the aluminum angle into the rivnuts which allows me to remove the panels (not the angle which is stuck with VHB) if I need.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes

... I put rivnuts into the aluminum frame of the solar panels and ran bolts through the aluminum angle into the rivnuts which allows me to remove the panels ... if I need.

I was wondering about a way to unbolt the panels and had not thought of rivnuts.
Thanks, now I wondering how well rivnuts work in thin aluminum?
 

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My self tappers do the same and let us have lunch at noon. So far I have removed half the screws to slightly lift the centered edges of the panels to add pipe insulation to the wires to quiet them under the panels and they tightened back up fine. If they ever loosen I’ll go one size larger and lock-tite them.
 

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I also want a gap to be able to clean underneath. Things go green and slimy really fast here on the wet-coast.

An air gap also helps with panel cooling. cells run something like 60F hotter than ambient, and the panels' Vmp will drop the hotter they get.

the gap also helps minimize re-radiated heat from the bottom of the panels reaching your roof. I have 5in gap and in the summer the roof of my PM is 20F hotter under the panels than in direct sunlight.

Sent from my BLU_STUDIO_XL using Tapatalk
 

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An air gap also helps with panel cooling. cells run something like 60F hotter than ambient, and the panels' Vmp will drop the hotter they get.

the gap also helps minimize re-radiated heat from the bottom of the panels reaching your roof. I have 5in gap and in the summer the roof of my PM is 20F hotter under the panels than in direct sunlight.

Sent from my BLU_STUDIO_XL using Tapatalk
Wow. I had no idea panels put out that much heat. Here I was thinking that covering the roof in panels would give me built in shade and keep things cooler.
 

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The Fiamma route looks interesting, especially if you intend to (maybe) get an awning. Bracket sets run about $150-$200 USD per side. I also checked Carefree Colorado's PM brackets. They are flatter, so their profile isn't as convenient for attaching solar.
 
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