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Old 07-31-2014, 08:34 AM   #1
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Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

I am about to do a self install of two Renogy 100w solar panels on the roof of my Sprinter Van. Based on forum feedback, I also bought a Perko Zinc deck connector.

It looks like I will need to drill a 3/4" whole directly into the sheet metal on the roof. The connector itself will be secured by three screws. I assume sealant will be required so what kind and how much sealant should be used in and around the holes I am about to make?

Thanks,

tv
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

While that is a very good connector, I wonder if it is the best connector for your application? I think that connector is great where you are going to plug/unplug/plug repeatedly, but given you are looking for a roof mount, I would be surprised if that was the case.

I think some sort of pass-thru set up would be better suited to your installation.

http://www.thmarine.com/products/Riggin ... ru-Fitting

http://www.navstore.com/blue-sea-system ... -1003.html

Disclaimer: I have not used either of these pass-thrus, it's just what I found using a quick search.


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Old 07-31-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

I too would use a cable pass through. If you go to defender.com, then electrical, electrical fittings and connections, cable pass throughs, you'll find a few different ones used in the Marine industry. I plan on using one of these for my solar install...
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by

[url="http://www.thmarine.com/products/Rigging-Accessories/General-Rigging/CeaCap-Bulkhead-Pass-Thru-Fitting
http://www.thmarine.com/products/Riggin ... ru-Fitting[/url]


Herb
I have used the above Pass Thru Fitting. I would use one for ground and one for power. I used butyl rubber as the sealant.

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

I used a pass through connector and placed it outside the canvas wall. A little butyl sealant around the fitting to prevent leaks. Any leaks will not get into the interior in any case.

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Old 07-31-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
I used a pass through connector and placed it outside the canvas wall. A little butyl sealant around the fitting to prevent leaks. Any leaks will not get into the interior in any case.

Mike
If I recall correctly, SMBw did more or less the same thing, and maybe used a rubber grommet in the hole to provide some protection against the edges of the hole through the fiberglass.


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Old 08-01-2014, 05:07 AM   #7
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

When you guys drill into or through your sheet metal please be sure to fully treat the newly bare edges and holes with a rust prevention material. I favor POR-15 but for such a small installation as this not sure what would be most cost effective.

Sealing the base of the pass thru to the metal with butyl is a good idea as it tends to be self-sealing and flexible. 3M makes great products for this sort of thing---others here might have a few good ideas too.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

I also stumbled across this possibility on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Instapark%C2%AE-I ... 0AZGH38BWW

They also make glue-on solar panel mounts which look kinda nice.

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Old 08-02-2014, 01:37 AM   #9
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

i got holes all over my roof from installing vents and solar panels. I always use RV putty tape right over the holes between the roof and the l-brackets. I also put sealant on the bolts. Never had any leaks. Put as much sealant as you want, you can never use too much.

For the wires, I actually use a instapark double solar entry gland conduit its just a thick square plastic with two holes that will allow the thick solar panel cables to fit in through it and its water tight. I used 8 gauge wire on my solar output to minimize voltage/amp loss. My panel is permanently installed I never take them off or disconnect the wires.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
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Re: Solar Install Question - Seal that hole in your roof

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am going to give the CeaCapô Bulkhead Pass-Thru Fitting a try. I grabbed two of them just in case. This may be a good topic for Scalf77 to cover on his solar wiki. I know it is a pretty common question about how to get that cable to your solar controllers.

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