Wall Mounting PVS

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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    icarus wrote: »
    Unistrut

    http://www.unistrut.us/

    Para bolts,


    http://www.westmidlandsfasteners.com/products.html

    Para bolts can be engineered for nearly any application, speced for shear, withdrawal resistance, live and dead loads, different masonry materials etc.


    Some drill and install with expansion only, others epoxy in.

    Tony

    when installing commercial a/c units , we always used unistrut, and raw bolts , and a think we called in the trade as zebedes ( basically a spring loaded clap ) ,for the a/c wall mount bracket .
    on old brickwork we used long sections of unistrut with plenty of raw bolts < anchors > into the brick work , never install the rawbolts in the mortar as this is a weak point ,
    remember some building in the uk were i am can be a few hundred years old .
    never over tighten the raw bolts as this can blow the brickwork , just nice and tight . one install that comes to mind for me is a huge twin split that had to craned up 40 ft that must have weighed 80 kg and all that held it on the wall was 4 meter lengths of unistrut and rawbolts every half meter , and a condenser wall bracket that too the weight
  • jagecjagec Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    niel wrote: »
    looks like sleeves it may have to be then if i stay with the wall mount, but i could always add more of them to better secure it. the wall was pointed by me, but i did not go far in depth in all places as most went about 3/4 of an inch in on average with the max being halfway or about 2 inches in areas i thought weak or there was an air gap in the mortar.

    Another option is to use toggle bolts:
    toggleboltuse.jpg

    You'd have to drill a slightly bigger hole in the brick to pass the "toggle" bit, and the bolts have to be long enough to pass completely through the brick wall and then some, but the advantage is that they WILL NOT pull out without taking the entire brick with them. Less likely to crack old bricks than the sleeve anchors, too.

    The downside is that they are somewhat more expensive than other options, and of course they will come through the wall on the other side, which can be a cosmetic problem if that wall is exposed.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    Since this is an exterior wall (obviously), the other side is not likely to be exposed. Not in PA, anyway. Typically exterior brick wall are built with a slight gap between them and the interior stud construction, which should be sheathed and covered with tar paper (normally). Solid brick walls are pretty rare in cold climates. The toggle bolts may present an install problem here as there may not be enough gap between the brick and the interior wall to allow the toggle to expand. You might end up drilling into the wood interior sheathing and poking the bolts into the insulation.

    Inspect the bricks and see if either they or the mortar are crumbling or mouldy. If solid, go with the anchor sleeves and epoxy. The brackets themselves are fairly simple geometry. Nice if you can get a shop to weld some aluminium for you in the right shape, otherwise wide vertical so there's more than one bolt to the wall 'L'. Panels will hang nicely off the upper brackets and be pushed out by simple legs at the bottom. Kind of the reverse of the roof mounts used on many installs up North.

    Of course if you were in Canada you'd just use duct tape! :p
    (Sorry; it's a Canadian inside joke thing.)
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    coot,
    you are on the ball here as the toggles would hit the interior, but it is not framework it would hit. there is another wall of brick there as i initially said this is a double brick wall construction. the interior brick was the support for floor joists and originally they just threw plaster on that interior brick. i am putting framework in as i had to put insulation on the walls and something to attach drywall to rather than up to several inches of plaster.

    the place did have knob and tube when it was built, but i don't know if they had it wired for lights or not as there were also old gaslines going to each room up high that i assume were for lights. it also had 4 fireplaces and a smaller chimney access for the kitchen. the fireplaces were most likely gas as well as they were too narrow for wood.
  • SevenSeven Solar Expert Posts: 292 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    How critical is the inside wall apperance? The key to doing your mount is spreading the load out over as wide an area as possible. I have read talk about snow load, but you need to remember the wind load that may come from the bottom up. You would essentially be creating a funnel for any wind that hit the wall you are mounting to. If that wind hits the wall and rises it will exert more pressure on the top part of the mount as the air tries to compress and keep going. I don't know how strong the wind is in your area, but we can have 40mph gusts fairly regular down here and 50-60mph are not unheard of.

    Back to the first line. If you were to use steel plate, or even plywood, to cover the interior wall, you could put your mounting hardware through it. By doing that you would be distributing any load from the panels to not only the brick structure, but you would be incorporating the studs in the wall as well. Instead of having 8sqin mounting surface you would end up with 32sqft. Using this method the wall itself would be bearing the load. This may not be doable in your situation and would probably be overkill as far as strength, but it would hold your panels. Heck, it would hold you, and the panels, and your batteries.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    seven,
    all good points.
    the top opening will exert some force, but it will be out from the wall too as i need clearance from the overhang's shading. i have a us64 already mounted to the wall and goes nearly right to it at the top and there hasn't been any problems as a result of wind loads. i have seen winds at 60+ mph at times and i worry, but the wall is fine as well as is my diy mount that i thought might possibly fail. it did better than i expected and i do see a bit of stress in a few places, but nothing alarming at this point. the stress is in the al angle twisting just a bit. those al angles are 1/8th inch with 2 inch legs. i needed to have some room for mortar when i placed the legs into the joints and is why i did not opt for the better choice of the 1/4 inch al angle. if they carried 3/16ths inch i probably would've used that.

    as to anchoring through both brick walls, now that would be very strong, but i already have the framing and drywall on the interior side so there's no access to the inner brick wall. ftr, i pointed the interior brick as well.:D those bolts would be quite long to reach through both brick walls. an initial minimal rough guess would be about 9 inches and that does not include the bolt head, washer space, plate space, and the similar nut, washer, bolt leeway (some excess threads need to stick out:roll:), and plate space on the other side of the inside brick wall let alone variances in the spacing that could make it higher. the interior was not critical to be nice or even as plaster was used to even it out. i took out plaster that was nearly four inches think in some places while other areas an inch or so.
  • ThomThom Solar Expert Posts: 195 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    I hang cabinets with tapcons all the time . You could drill and test one screw to see the holding power . My 2 panels are wall mounted . No trouble so far. Would like to put more over my windows for summer shade. I live near the St Lawerence river.
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added [email protected] 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    Thom wrote: »
    I hang cabinets with tapcons all the time . You could drill and test one screw to see the holding power . My 2 panels are wall mounted . No trouble so far. Would like to put more over my windows for summer shade. I live near the St Lawerence river.

    how old is your masonry?
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,366 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    Thom wrote: »
    Would like to put more over my windows for summer shade.

    I have thought about that as well, if I was going to shade my west and south facing windows that is how I would do it I think. Steel frames with some tilt and solar panels to act as shade. I could probably add another 10 panels easily doing that. Panel prices keep dropping it may be a real consideration since I have the tools and equipment to build, weld and paint the frames.
  • rgs03833rgs03833 Registered Users Posts: 16
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    Hi, does it snow where you live? If it does, don't forget ICICLE !!!;)
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    Look at this as option B.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202290030/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    I know it was stated a double brick wall. The house my friend and I did windows in, had about 2 inch gap between the two brick walls.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    n3qik wrote: »
    Look at this as option B.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202290030/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    I know it was stated a double brick wall. The house my friend and I did windows in, had about 2 inch gap between the two brick walls.

    i'd prefer to not go through both sets of brick at this point as i've got urethane sheets attached to the inner wall for insulation. to be honest the pic on that bolt does not do it justice as i still can't picture what it is they do with that even enlarging it and reading the description. the gap on mine is no more than an inch and is usually less where the pvs would mount.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    niel wrote: »
    i'd prefer to not go through both sets of brick at this point as i've got urethane sheets attached to the inner wall for insulation. to be honest the pic on that bolt does not do it justice as i still can't picture what it is they do with that even enlarging it and reading the description. the gap on mine is no more than an inch and is usually less where the pvs would mount.

    Niel;

    The bolt part of that assembly isn't shown in the picture. The part at the left is metal and has a threaded portion. This is put horizontal with the plastic section and inserted through the hole. Once in the gap the metal part unfolds to perpendicular (you hope) and the bolt goes through the whole assembly, grabbing the threads at the end and snugging it up against the inside of the wall. Very similar to the "butterfly nut" design except it does not require as large a hole.

    Remember you don't have to rely on one bolt to hold the whole thing. Several of the anchor sleeves along a piece of bracket will give quite a lot of strength against the load and spread it out over more brick area, which is desirable especially on older bricks.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    With 1/2 inch or less, they will not work.

    FYI: look at this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC1ZuxuZ2PU
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    ok, i understand now and i've never seen this type before. i don't think there would be enough room to utilize that in between the bricks, but i like the method.8)
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,366 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    How much room between the brick layers, I have an idea I would like to draw up.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    hmmm. i thought i did mention how much room there was. i must be going crazy or something as i did go into detail, but it isn't here.:cry:

    it is no doubt under an inch and may even be under 1/2 inch in many spots there. i remember trying to fit my fingers into the gap to push new mortar into the bricks and i had a tough time of it and gave up back when i pulled a brick to anchor the al angle for my homemade us64 mount.

    what do you have in mind?
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,366 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS
    niel wrote: »
    hmmm. i thought i did mention how much room there was. i must be going crazy or something as i did go into detail, but it isn't here.:cry:

    it is no doubt under an inch and may even be under 1/2 inch in many spots there. i remember trying to fit my fingers into the gap to push new mortar into the bricks and i had a tough time of it and gave up back when i pulled a brick to anchor the al angle for my homemade us64 mount.

    what do you have in mind?

    Well I was thinking you could make up some custom expander out of aluminum or lead that look like a shoulder bolt with a 1/4-20 interior thread and a split saw down the center. they could be just 1/2 inch longer than the depth of brick. Using a high grade bolt to do the expansion on the interior side of the brick and have the bolt cut on a taper to control the expansion and keep from fracturing the brick.

    1/2 inch hole in the brick should work, some 1/4-20 threaded rod could then be turned to act as a stud and have a straight section to pass through the expansion preventing it pulling out. Would be an interesting small lathe project. I suppose you could even add some epoxy to seal and give some extra umph.

    Edit attachment add.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    ATTN Niel,
    I replied to your pm, twice actually, but don't see where the messages were ever transmitted to you. They went "somewhere" but don't show up in the SENT message list. Just wondering if indeed they did get through, or did they vanish from the face of the earth.
    Thanks
    Wayne
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wall Mounting PVS

    wayne,
    i got your pms.

    solar dave,
    isn't that allot of extra work just to attach the mounts? although how they get attached does hold merits, i am still stuck on what i will attach to the wall.

    general forum,
    i find that the mounts are probably the weakest link in the whole pv system barring battery life. we criticize somebody like enphase because their inverters won't last as long as the pvs, but we have mounts that are only warranted for 10 years too and none so far that are wall mounts even though i know the thermal side of the industry has been doing it. i may just search for such a mount from that portion of the industry for i know the weight of a thermal system can far exceed that of the pvs and minimally can be considered comparable in its duty. it's one thing to pay high prices for these mounts, but are they so flimsy to not warrant them for 20 years or have the strength to go to a wall mount? i am also getting ignored in my inquiries to many mount manufacturers as they don't even answer that they have nothing to suit.
    rant over for now.
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