Brainstorming Help: - Flexible Solar Panel Install on RV Roof

ScoCanScoCan Registered Users Posts: 11
About to put three 150 Watt semi-flexible solar panels on the fiberglass (FRP) roof of our 24' RV.

Each panels measure about 52" by 26.5" and weights about 8 pounds out of the box.
(Thanks largely to a number of folks here, the rest of the system is now on order and hopefully arriving late this week)

Some criteria I'm looking to meet:

Panels will be 'permanently' mounted (glued) to a backing which is:
  • thermally conductive - to allow for cooling
  • has minimal thermal expansion
  • is rigid enough to support panels without significant deflection (i.e. flutter) when driving
  • is lightweight
  • reasonably cost effective.

I would like to mount them using bracketing which will give me:
  • approx. 1" to 1.5" standoff - for airflow under to cool panel
  • allow for tilt adjustment
  • allow the panel to be removed relatively easily.

For the backing, I am currently considering:
  • aluminum plate in the 1/8" (.120-.125) thickness range - possibly with stiffeners.
  • aluminum honeycomb in the 1/2" thickness range

What would you use? Ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: Brainstorming Help: - Flexible Solar Panel Install on RV Roof

    What does the panel mfg recommend for backing? Differential expansion between the panel and backing can rip the panels apart.

    Cooling wise, I would not worry too much. Unless you mount them at a 45 degree angle with 3 or more inches of air space behind the panels, you are not probably going to get any meaningful cooling with a horizontal 1 inch air gap.

    In my humble opinion.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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