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Old 08-16-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
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"Lost" Solar Panel

At the start of a recent trip one of the 3 Solara solar panels I have, ripped loose from its mounting. The only thing holding it on was the wire connection. At the time there was no way to reconnect it so I had to remove it.
Looking at the other two, they are about ready to fly away also.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Bob in Tucson

03' Ford V10
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Yikes, mine are bolted all the way thru the top. This is on an '07.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Scatter,
My panels being flexible, are [I'm assuming] glued and screwed onto a metal plate. The plate is screwed into the roof but not all the way through. The panels are coming loose from the plate.
I know that SMB does not use Solara panels anymore.
Can anyone tell me how SMB now installs Kyocera panels to the roof?

Bob in Tucson
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Bob, I'm in the process of removing my 3 Solara's and going with 2 Kyocera panels. SMB sets them in a aluminum frame. I plan to put a rack on top to hold the panels. I've also seen them mount the frame directly to roof. SMB claims they are getting about 10 amps per panel and my 3 solara panels seem to be putting out less and less as time goes on. I now max at about 6.5A at high noon on a clear day. The panels look like they are turning hazy plus I'm finding delamination. Hopefully SMB won't destroy them when they are removed...I do have a use for the old ones.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Dave,
At this point I don't think my panels are putting out anything. The delamination you mention is definately occuring on mine and and after I lost the one my controller was showing a .1 to .3 and now even though it shows it is charging I don't get a reading.
It's a long expensive drive to SMB West for me so I'm researching my options.

Bob in Tucson
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Good luck, I'm not happy about this as I felt it was not the best idea to glue down the panels in the first place but SMB said Solara would not warrantee them unless they were. Now they have only lasted 2.5 years and Solara has fled the country. I wonder why! It's gonna be the biggest cost loss on my van yet
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Well mine have lasted [or worked somewhat] for 7 years, but I have only owned the van for a year and a half. Had I known anything about solar when I was considering buying it I would of noticed and realized they weren't putting out what they were supposed to.
Heck, I thought they last forever, right?
As you know, owning an SMB is just like owning a boat. Take it on a trip, bring it back and throw more money at it.

Bob in Tucson
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbachani
As you know, owning an SMB is just like owning a boat. Take it on a trip, bring it back and throw more money at it.

Bob in Tucson
03' Ford V10 4x4

I agree
Having spend time in the middle of the ocean San Diego to Austrailia on a 60 foot boat
I know the value of over building/over engineering

example:
In outfitting my rig ('01 E350eb with 30k and quigly)
-New rotors, not rebuilt
-custom aluminess to hold a solar array that will work for a house
-solar controls that again are over rated for the load
-twice the battery capatcity
-4cf fridge meant to be on 24/7 on long haul trucks
-real wood cabinets, glued and screwed
-multiple 12v outlets and easy access to souce 12v in the future or to relocate fixed installs
-aluminess rear bump with custom baja box for generator and rear mounted Roto Pax gas can
-yamaha generator over rated for my AC load
-compressor over rated also
-two ext solar shower tubes mounted on aluminess, not one
-tap in Wilsons fuel system to fill One two gallon jug for the generator, not strap on a bunch of 5 gal

I KNOW that i am gonna sink more money in down the proverbial road however
I would rather pay more now that a breakdown/malfunction in BFE

I am fourtunate to a) have the $ to throw at it now and b) want to travel in the rig, not work on it whilst in BFE

If i did the math:
I could have cut down my Outfit price by the same amount of money that i could make working my ass off for two solid weeks.
Me, rather work my skinny ass of now here in SoCal and enjoy AC, plenty of water and 16 inch lcd TV in BFE
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

FWIW

Might think about some sort of security bolt to hold the panels down. Damn green thieves are taking panels right off of buildings at night.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/20359882/detail.html
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:37 PM   #10
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Re: "Lost" Solar Panel

Bob, I can show you how I mounted my panels. Maybe I can help you figure out how to remount yours.

Going to Moab Friday, but after that I'd be willing to give you a hand.

Tom in Tucson.
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