Solar

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Solar

Postby yycwrangler » Tue Dec 12, 2023 3:40 pm

Hi everyone

Starting to consider solar on my 6x12 vnose. At black friday, I purchased a 100ah lifepo4 battery and a 20 amp plug in charger. New years I'm going for the solar panels and mppt. I'm leaning towards rigid panels as opposed to the bendable ones. Regarding the panels, how did you guys mount them to the roof. I see they have mounting brackets. Did you locate cross members on the roof and anchor to them. I would be leery just affixing it through the tin roof. 2nd question, with a space between the roof and the rigid panels, I would worry about the wind getting under the panels, at highway speed, and ripping them off the roof. Did anyone put a wind deflector in front of the panels so the wind is deflected over the panels instead of under them.

As a rookie, any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated even some great web sites/video

Cheers Al in Calgary
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Re: Solar

Postby tony.latham » Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:20 pm

I'm leaning towards rigid panels as opposed to the bendable ones.


If you reconsider flexibles, make sure you purchase good ETFE panels, such as those made by Renogy.

Image

Image

Mine works great.

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Re: Solar

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:45 pm

I ended up 12+ years ago buying a panel intended for grid tie that puts out 70+V no load what this means is that I get usable current when shaded and under clouds, not happening when using a nominal 12V panel. The mounts are attached to the filon roof with 3M VHB tape.

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Re: Solar

Postby Grummy » Wed Dec 13, 2023 3:15 am

yycwrangler wrote:Hi everyone

....how did you guys mount them to the roof. I see they have mounting brackets. Did you locate cross members on the roof and anchor to them.

Cheers Al in Calgary


Well, I used 1-1/2" aluminum angle... the 1/16" thick stuff, and went across the entire trailer width, then with another 1/16" plate, riveted each end with two 3/16 rivets into each upper walls aluminum tubing. I have a flat top that still has some bow to it and it layed down on that easily/ I used 3M VHB between the aluminum and the roof, but I should have only used it in 4" segments with 4" open for water to run under. Nonetheless, it's not going to come off easily.

So with one rail in front of, and one rail behind the panels, the panels are mounted on their own 1" angle and bolted with spacers to the rails attached to the roof.

Two panels up front, two panels in the back.

Maybe not the best image, because you can not see the rivets into the outer edges, but here are two pics in my album. Open in a new window and zoom in on them for details.

158101

158102

You can see that I have just over an inch of open space under the panels and they really do not get much wind buffering that I can tell. I occasionally examine the rivets and angles.. after a few years now I see no problems.

Remember to put a small plate on top of the angles where they rivet to the roof for added clampability and use a good rivet like this:

https://www.mcmaster.com/products/rivet ... nd-rivets/
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