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Old 10-21-2016, 12:17 AM   #21
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Thanks Ben. Hope your new van is treating you well
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:57 AM   #22
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Things are on hold for a couple of days. I had to order two new Ancor Marine though-deck wire seals a little bigger than the ones I had.
Quoting myself ^

Well, screw you Amazon Prime!

Ordered two of these through-deck wire seals, both sold by Amazon and guaranteed to be delivered today. Was pretty pleased when the UPS truck chugged to a stop in front of our place around 7:00pm today. But, they only delivered one. I check online and get...

"We’re sorry your package is late. If it hasn’t arrived by Tuesday, Oct 25, please come back for more options."

They shipped them separately. Guess I won't be making any progress on the solar project tomorrow
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:37 AM   #23
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Well, screw you Amazon Prime!
Amazon sub-prime!
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:12 PM   #24
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Flexible vs stiff

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As most of you know, my first SMB was stolen the weekend after I finished installing the two flexible solar panels. So, I'm now in the process of installing solar on our new van.
Do you have a preference between the flexible panels and the stiff ones you are using now? I am debating between the two...
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:21 PM   #25
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Do you have a preference between the flexible panels and the stiff ones you are using now? I am debating between the two...
Well, the flexible panels were recalled due to fire hazard so they've got that going against them. Arctictraveler said a flexible panel on his boat almost caught on fire. In addition to that, they scratch easier and apparently tend to fall apart in relatively short order.

What I did like about them was how light weight they were and how easy they were to install; none of this unistrut and angle iron business...just a few screws and some velcro was all I used. It's said that they are slightly less efficient than glass panels, but I have no data to back that up. They are considerably more expensive than glass panels.

Which flexible panels are you looking at? Renogy said they probably wouldn't be selling them again until Summer '17 but I think Grape Solar is selling them again.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:56 AM   #26
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Amazon sub-prime!
They suck a lot about 1.5% of the time..only when you really need them to come through. Both items were shipped from Louisville, KY. It's not like one was coming from Dallas and the other from Nashville.

All I got done today was arranging the cables toward the front of the forward most panel, just in case I want to add a third panel in the future...

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Old 10-23-2016, 09:21 AM   #27
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Which flexible panels are you looking at? Renogy said they probably wouldn't be selling them again until Summer '17 but I think Grape Solar is selling them again.
Thanks for the info. I noticed Renogy wasn't selling them anymore, and I could only find off-brands on Amazon for it. The recall explains a lot.

My roof is old fiberglass and a weird shape, so the flexible ones would work better in terms of shape and weight.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:21 PM   #28
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After waiting 10 days for what was supposed to be an Amazon Prime 2-day order, I’m back at it. Last week I layed out where I wanted the through-deck wire seals to go and started drilling holes through the van roof…



Then I started laying out the cables on the roof and secured them to the aluminum unistrut…



Yesterday, I mounted the cable entry box and sealed it up using the 5200 "quick cure" (24 hr) marine sealant from West Marine. I straightened it out and duct taped it in place overnight and it was solid as a rock by this afternoon.

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Old 11-07-2016, 10:24 PM   #29
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Today, I finished up the cabling on the roof…



…and routed the cables down along the PH…



…and down through the through-deck wire seals in to the van.



All the cables are now in the van so the hard part is over.



Next up is to seal up and tighten down the wire seals, and finish routing the cables to the charge controller location.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:31 PM   #30
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That looks good! Nice job. I've thought a lot about getting power to the roof. Thanks for sharing this.
One thing I saw. The sharp ends on the zip ties may scratch/tear the top fabric. Maybe keep an eye on it or use some felt tape or something to prevent any possible holes.
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