Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to camper

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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby featherliteCT1 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:42 pm

Would you just use a cigarette lighter?

No. But a hair dryer would work fine. Also, pressure is necessary to bond the tape to the surface

The pdf document about how to use VHB tape says:


Pressure
Bond strength is dependent upon the amount of adhesive-to-surface contact developed. Firm
application pressure develops better adhesive contact and helps improve bond strength. Typically,
good surface contact can be attained by applying enough pressure to insure that the tape experiences
approximately 15 psi (100 kPa) pressure. Either roller or platen pressure can be used. Note that rigid
surfaces may require 2 or 3 times that much pressure to make the tape experience 15 psi.
Temperature
Ideal application temperature range is 70°F to 100°F (21°C to 38°C). Pressure sensitive adhesives use
viscous flow to achieve substrate contact area. Minimum suggested application temperatures:
• 50°F (10°C): 4950, 5952, 4910, 4952, 4611, 4622 tape families
• 600f (150C): 4941, 4945 tape families
• 320f (0OC): 4951 tape families
Note: Initial tape application to surfaces at temperatures below these suggested minimums is not recommended because the
adhesive becomes too firm to adhere readily. However , once properly applied , low temperature holding is generally satisfactory. To
obtain good performance with all 3M™ VHB TM Tapes it is important to ensure that the surfaces are dry and free of condensed
moisture.
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby immped64 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:00 am

Featherlite: Thank you for the shared information. It may be that I did not give enough pressure to seat the tape I used (T-Rex). I am trying an experiment with this tape and will be seeing whether it does stick. This would be just for hiding away the connectors. I plan on using the 3M tape on everything else.

I have done another change of plan. Yesterday I purchased some Liquid Conduit (something like grey garden hose) for protecting my solar wires underneath the tongue. When I got home and looked things over it dawned on me that I could use the Liquid Conduit to hide away the wires extending from my solar panel down towards the tongue. I plan on using the 3M tape applied to the previously purchased zip tie squares to hold down the conduit that will be enclosing the solar wire. I think this will be a little more attractive and protective than having the solar wires free. This will also allow for pulling out wire if necessary. So it still would be a better solution than the Eterna Bond that I was thinking of using.

I'm not sure I have a hair drier in the house for applying heat but if not the outdoor temps will be within the recommended 3M application range. (70-100)
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby featherliteCT1 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:09 am

Keep us posted. In the future I need to run some wires on the roof of my trailer and I am benefiting from your experiences. :twisted:
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby immped64 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:45 pm

Featherlite: If you are benefiting from my experiences it might be from the standpoint of what not to do. :thinking:

This brings up today's quandary. The Renogy solar wires have no visible differentiation between positive and negative except for the MC4 connectors on the one end. I can't believe I went all the way through my install process and never once considered polarity. (However I did buy a red cable to go from battery box to charge controller but that would be loads easier to trace.)

I now have 1 end of the wire inside of the tongue box and the other end can be removed but everything in between is pretty much fastened into position and I don't know which wire is positive and which wire is negative.

I have a cheap circuit tester but the wires do not attach to a power source so it can't be used. My Dad claims I can get a dollar circuit tester that has a battery in it. I also know that a multimeter could do the trick.

I guess my question here would be whether I should go the more expensive route and buy the multimeter? The Renogy charge controller booklet suggests a multimeter as required installation equipment, but if I recall correctly it doesn't say just what it would be used for. I do have a limited budget, but I want to spend money when it will ultimately save money.

With all of the wrong directions and setbacks I still am optimistic that one day this will come together. I will post a few pictures when this comes about.
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby pchast » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:35 pm

I hesitate to say it ......... :NC
But harbor freight for less than 10$.
:thinking:
Its not as accurate, but all you need
is positive and negative. it should do
all you need.
:)
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby Graniterich » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:44 pm

Everyone needs a multimeter, even the cheap ones are pretty accurate

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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby tony.latham » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:48 pm

I guess my question here would be whether I should go the more expensive route and buy the multimeter?


I concur. Go buy a cheap multimeter. Mine's from Harbor Freight and I think it's fine for what I do. It'll easily tell you which is positive.

I'm impressed that you're going to pull this endeavor off.

T
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Re: Solar: Looking for best way to install Solar Panel to ca

Postby immped64 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:24 pm

tony.latham wrote:
I'm impressed that you're going to pull this endeavor off.

T


Thank you. I will be impressed to if it does come together. :shock:


It appears the consensus is to invest in a low expense multimeter. I will give this a look tomorrow.
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