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 solar panel on pop up roof ?

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belett0
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Home City : London
Model and year : Toyota Hiace Cruising Cabin 1994
Registration date : 2012-08-15

PostSubject: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:16 pm

Hi guys,

I m planning to mount a solar panel on my cruising cabin, but I m wondering if the roof is strong/stiff enough to handle the panel at high speed.


This is a 50w panel : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Photonic-Universe-camper-caravan-system/dp/B008BQGEVE
and I d like to use the corner mounts http://www.sunstore.co.uk/images/P/White%20Corner%20Mounts.jpg
There is no hole in the roof, the mounts are "glued" to the roof with some sikaflex.

any advice is welcome, thanks !

David
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izzzzythedog
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PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:16 am

ummmmm ok ive a bit of experience with solar having an array with 10 panels on it constructed myself

to be honest im not sure i would stick anything on hoping it would stay there , id be more inclined to bolt it down with rubber washers to keep the water out , id also reconsider that panel unless its about budget and id aim for a flexible panel which you could easily silicon into place ( the rear of panels have a void , there little more than a sheet of crystals in plastic bolted onto a 20mm frame ) , that panel is more a park up and stick outside rather than a permanent feature of a caravan
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belett0
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PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:22 am

Hi,

thanks for your reply. Flexible or semi flexible panels are too expensive for me, and I'd prefer to avoid holes in the roof as the bed is up there. Not sure it will stay waterproof forever. (I m leaving for 2 years, and expecting heavy rains in central america !)

So the sikaflex will not make it ? Sad I was thinking about roof bars, but the roof looks really soft. There is also a solid roof on the drivers cabin...but the curve is even worse !

David
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milkman
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Model and year : LH113V 1992 Composer
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PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:15 pm

All told would another leisure battery the extra fuel used to carry and charge them not be cheaper?

How much more expensive are flexipanels than ones designed for buildings?

We bought a 14w panel to mitigate the drain on our leisure battery but it doesnít really cut the mustard. Also I think its difficult to wire into an existing 3-way regulator setup properly. (I donít think ours is)

If you do use sealed fixings on the roof you would be okay. Large stainless pan head bolts, silcone washers bedded on sikaflex and more washers and sikaflex on the inside.
You just have to regard them as a maintenance item like you will oil changes and fluid levels!

Best with your trip!
Are you container-ing your van over there?

Marko
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belett0
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PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:28 pm

I guess the need of a solar panel depends on how you intend to travel. In many countries, you will find power sites to top up the leisure battery, and if you keep running almost every day, you won't need it.

The main reason behind the panel is we intend to stay weeks in some remote locations to shoot a movie. The fridge and lights don't drain too much energy, but the computer does ! Based on this we decided to go for a 50w, 75w was better but too expensive. You can find a 50w for less than 100£, but the flexible we saw were above 300£.

Thanks for your advice ! Sounds like a plan, I have to secure the bolt very well so no one will try to steal our panel (seems to be a common thing in central america)

We will ship the van in a container from le Havre in France to Montreal in Canada. We have to check very carefully the height of our van with the panel, the container is only 2,3m heigh ! At the moment, the shipping cost is 2600 eur, including everything on the Canadian side. I m still trying to negotiate something Smile

Thanks again !

David
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MaXiLeeCH
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Model and year : 1985 Maxda T3500 Parkway Motorhome
(I upgraded from my 1994 LH125 Hiace Commuter!)

Registration date : 2012-04-30

PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:28 am

Mounting the panel with Sikaflex will be fine.
In fact, it will probably outlast the van.
Make sure that the surface prep is good (Wipe the area down with some thinners and a rag) to make sure that there is no dirt or grease or polish and then follow the directions on the tube of glue.
We use that technique over here in Oz and if it can last 20+ years in the Australian sun and weather extremes, it'll certainly last over there in Old Blighty.

Ohh yeah, go bigger on the solar panel if you can, with the lack of sun you guy's have over there you need all the help you can get, go for at least an 80Watt panel and preferably a 120Watt panel.
Over here I use 2 x 120Watt panels mounted on roof racks on my LH125 Commuter bus, along with 300A/H of battery power. (I am an amateur radio operator and I work the batteries hard whilst I am out an about.)

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belett0
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PostSubject: Re: solar panel on pop up roof ?   Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:14 am

Thanks for the update Jeff !
good to hear sika could be enough.

I know I may need around 100w but no money left for this... but I m not gonna travel in Uk so I should get plenty of sun in Amercia Smile
thanks again,

David


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