Installing flexible solar panels to roof - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2018, 08:35 PM   #1
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Installing flexible solar panels to roof

I am interested in installing a pair or flexible solar panels to the roof of our Boler.

I am also concerned about providing ventalation under the panel and the panels blowing off while traveling.

I was thinking about installing the panels on ribs that run front to back, parallel to the roof lines.

The panels are made from polycarbonate and I was thinking about making ribs out of polycarbonate as well. Gluing the ribs between the flexible panels and the roof via high strength marine epoxy.

My thought was to raise the panel off the roof 1/2". My fear is that they would catch do air and break off on the highway.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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If you are not taking advantage of the semi-flexible panel by adhering it to the roof, why not go with a rigid panel?
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:04 PM   #3
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If you are not taking advantage of the semi-flexible panel by adhering it to the roof, why not go with a rigid panel?
Two reasons. First, I own two flexible panels already. Second, I prefer the aesthetics of panels that follow the lines of the roof.
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:04 PM   #4
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Use high bond VHB tape and caulk around the front and sides with lap sealant and you’ll be good for years,
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Markz View Post
I am interested in installing a pair or flexible solar panels to the roof of our Boler.

I am also concerned about providing ventalation under the panel and the panels blowing off while traveling.

I was thinking about installing the panels on ribs that run front to back, parallel to the roof lines.

The panels are made from polycarbonate and I was thinking about making ribs out of polycarbonate as well. Gluing the ribs between the flexible panels and the roof via high strength marine epoxy.

My thought was to raise the panel off the roof 1/2". My fear is that they would catch do air and break off on the highway.

Any thoughts?
Your concern that they will catch air and break off is an accurate projection of what is going to happen. Stress from ongoing flexing in the wind equals material fatigue over time.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Markz View Post
Two reasons. First, I own two flexible panels already. Second, I prefer the aesthetics of panels that follow the lines of the roof.
I used semi-flexible panels for aesthetics too. I am just not understanding the whole raising them thing.

I wanted my system to be as indiscreet as possible, and cannot be seen from the ground unless you are well behind the trailer as the roof slopes to the rear.

I used Eternabond tape to hold them down, and an inspection last week showed that all was as good as new after 1 1/2 years.

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Old 07-23-2018, 06:01 AM   #7
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What brand panels are you using?

I wanted to try raising them slightly to add airflow for panel longevity and to help keep the camper cooler.

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Old 07-23-2018, 06:12 AM   #8
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What brand panels are you using?

I wanted to try raising them slightly to add airflow for panel longevity and to help keep the camper cooler.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Fiberglass RV mobile app
I am using Lensun panels. Really tough, you can walk on them. No have seen no reason to raise them, the heat has yet to be a problem even using them in Arizona, though this was in February. I can't possibly imagine they raise the temp inside the trailer, though I do have 7/8" of foam lining the walls for insulation.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:14 AM   #9
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Slim Potato Head and his Aliner clips of You Tube installed raised flexible panels
on his trailer. He has several clips on his installation but the clip on a failed panel might be of interest if considering flexible panels. His other solar clips describe why and how he installed and repaired his panels.

Eddie

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...B&&FORM=VRDGAR
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:16 AM   #10
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If you use a 3M VHB type tape, you can order the tape by thickness and eliminate the polycarb risers. For example, the primary tape I use with my products is part number RP-45 where the "45" indicates the overall thickness (0.045 inch) of the tape. Run the tape strips fore-and-aft and you'll have a flow path for cooling, particularly when traveling.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:30 AM   #11
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If you use a 3M VHB type tape, you can order the tape by thickness and eliminate the polycarb risers. For example, the primary tape I use with my products is part number RP-45 where the "45" indicates the overall thickness (0.045 inch) of the tape. Run the tape strips fore-and-aft and you'll have a flow path for cooling, particularly when traveling.
Do you think double-sided foam tape might work as well?

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Old 07-23-2018, 10:40 AM   #12
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Do you think double-sided foam tape might work as well?

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3M VHB tapes are double-sided foam tapes. AM Solar has been using it for many years. https://amsolar.com/rv-mounting-accessories/91m-vhb
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Slim Potato Head and his Aliner clips of You Tube installed raised flexible panels
on his trailer. He has several clips on his installation but the clip on a failed panel might be of interest if considering flexible panels. His other solar clips describe why and how he installed and repaired his panels.

Eddie

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...B&&FORM=VRDGAR
Those are the older technology semi-flexible panels.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:20 AM   #14
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I wouldn't worry at all about panels on the roof increasing camper temperature. The temperature of the panels themselves, though, is really important, and any solar design always takes into account keeping the panels as cool as possible for best performance. Charging goes down with increased heat, so there's always some gap left for air flow.

But you can't argue with results. Jim's setup clearly works great for him, so it works!
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