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Old 04-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #11
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Well I found a good deal on a Kyocera 130w Solar panel today and have a few questions on installation. My plans are to mount the panel sideways. I have the Thule rails that only run from the rear of the PH to about half way up the front. I was going to attach the rear of the panel to aluminum angle iron and bolt that to the front of the Thule rack. The panel needs to be raise about 1" to clear the attached junction box. My plans were to pentrate the PH outside the canvas for the front two hold downs. The front of the panel will be raise by rubber spacers. Does anybody know where I can find these spacers.
Questions
1. Where do I penetrate the PH to run the wire from the panel?
Inside thte canvas?
2. Is there some type of waterproof weatherhead the everybody uses?
3. Do I connect the postive wire from the controller directly to the common terminal on the battery separator and the negative to the closest ground point.

Any help would be much appreciated

Thanks Steve
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzemach
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kalmbach
Panion: Thanks for the close-ups. So let me get this straight: you pre-attached the angle to one of the panels to get the angles parallel. Then you started to attach the angles, removed the original panel to finish getting the angles attached, and then reattached the panels. Looks like you used bolts instead of pop rivets ala the Badgers; thus do you only have four bolts per panel, one at each corner, holding them on to the angle, or are those actually self-tapping screws with washers into the solar panel frame?
Wow that is confusing. Let me try again.

I attached the rails onto the van roof first. I used ample amounts of pencil lead, squares, protractors, and head scratching. My result is a slightly skewed installment. I had some trouble fitting the panels into my rails when finished because they weren't perfectly parallel.

Next Time:

I would attach one panel to the rails and get a nice square. Then lift the whole assembly onto the roof for marking of holes. Then take apart, install rails, and lastly install panels.


The panels are held onto the rails by 3 self tapping 5/16 (head) screws per side. Total of 6 screws per panel. They are screwed straight through the angles into the side frame of the panels.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outopawn
Well I found a good deal on a Kyocera 130w Solar panel today and have a few questions on installation. My plans are to mount the panel sideways. I have the Thule rails that only run from the rear of the PH to about half way up the front. I was going to attach the rear of the panel to aluminum angle iron and bolt that to the front of the Thule rack. The panel needs to be raise about 1" to clear the attached junction box. My plans were to pentrate the PH outside the canvas for the front two hold downs. The front of the panel will be raise by rubber spacers. Does anybody know where I can find these spacers.
Questions
1. Where do I penetrate the PH to run the wire from the panel?
Inside thte canvas?
2. Is there some type of waterproof weatherhead the everybody uses?
3. Do I connect the postive wire from the controller directly to the common terminal on the battery separator and the negative to the closest ground point.

Any help would be much appreciated

Thanks Steve
Steve,

Here is some more of what I did. Keep in mind that I never claim it to be the right way.

I have a couple of concerns regarding your mounting. Sounds like you will only have two attachment points on the front of your bracket to the roof. Since you have to drill anyway, have you considered just mounting the panel independent of the thule rack. There may also be issues with items on the thule rack and the close proximity of the panel. If you can get the panel far enough forward of the rack there is a lesser chance of the items on the rack shading the panel which significantly reduces its efficiency.

My roof has "ribs" running lengthwise. Make sure you check your panel on the roof first, you may get lucky and have the box fall into a low point of the roof and thereby skip spacers. If you use 2" angle and mount independent of the rack you can raise the panel as high as necessary for clearance.

I did not have pre-wired solar either. I ended up drilling a hole in the front left of my top inside the canvas. If you do it this way make sure you drill on top of one of the ribs to avoid standing water. I used a electric panel "grommet" from Home Depot through the roof. I also used lots of the butyl rubber stuff. The plug sportsmobile uses is a much better option, but I was too lazy to get one. Look in my album to see what the under side of the pop top looks like. Not a fun job taking that apart by the way.

The controller should have instructions for wiring. Mine is wired directly to my aux battery.

A good source for rubber spacers may be the older style engine mounts. I've cut these up before for spacers. Check your local auto parts guy.

Good luck.
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