Building a solar panel support structure with wood/fiberglass /epoxy

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by mariobrothers88, May 24, 2021.

  1. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    The biax is stronger, but a little tougher to work with.

    It probably doesn't make much of a difference.
     
  2. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Better both. Most of the forces are parallel to the arch surfaces thus unidirectional and biax for torsional and hold the structure together.
     
  3. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: San Diego, CA

    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Hi guys I ended up just using 4x4 timbers and painting them instead of using fiberglass. I was wondering though what would be the best way to secure the posts to the boat? I have made 4x4 blocks of 4" to epoxy/silica glue to the 4x4 posts and I used epoxy silica to glue the posts and the blocks to the boat. I haven't used any screws. However I'm debating whether or not this is strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds (if necessary) and I was thinking of using ss screws to screw from inside the boat into the 4x4 posts. What do you guys think? Any other suggestions to best secure the 4x4 posts to the boat? Thanks in advance guys I really appreciate it!!
     
  4. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Pictures?

    Do you really mean 4x4 posts or 2x4 posts? 4x4 is very heavy duty.
     
  5. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Hi will yes I used 4x4 posts (although they are really 2x4s glued together) since I wanted to make sure it was super strong even in hurricane force winds. Here is a photo. I really want to avoid putting holes in my boat (to reduce potential areas of water entry) but I'm thinking of putting holes through a plywood backing plate from inside pointing up into the posts (so no holes in the exterior for water to get in). What do you guys think of this plan and do you have any better suggestions? I'm all ears! Thank you to everyone for all the great advice!!!
     
  6. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Your photo seems to have gone awol......

    It sounds like you are proposing to add screws from underneath into the end grain of the timber - this is not a good move at all.
    Your last two posts above do seem to imply that this is your intention?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
  7. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: San Diego, CA

    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Thanks for the reply! Sorry it was confusing I meant to put screws into the 4x4 blocks (not into the end grain). I just loaded the pic again hopefully it works this time! I'm thinking of adding at least one ss bolt with nut and washer to each of the blocks as well. What do you guys think?

     
  8. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Photo uploaded again
     

    Attached Files:

  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . . .

    Photo is up but what am I looking at?
    So those are 2x4's against a cross-grain plank?
    If so then you will not like my comment....
    More pictures from different angles and different distances away along with an explanation would help.
    Sorry, not trying to be difficult, I just don't get it.
     
  10. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: San Diego, CA

    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    The 4x4 post is glued to a 4x4 x4" block (really two 2x4s x 4" glued together)
     
  11. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . . .

    Okay,
    and a solar panel rests on top?
    It's a terrible idea.
     
  12. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: San Diego, CA

    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Care to explain? And how would you do it instead?
     
  13. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    Location: San Diego, CA

    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    There are two posts to support each solar panel for a total of 8 posts supporting 4 panels
     
  14. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell . . . . .

    Sure, thanks for asking.

    The picture is inadequate in showing the design or structure.
    The materials involved are bulky, heavy, labour intensive and appear as miss-applied overkill.
    The resulting structure will be high maintenance and prone to failure from water intrusion.
    Many suggestions have been made in your thread but you are disinterested.
    For those reason I answer your original question by stating my opinion that it is a terrible idea.

    As to how I would do it, I would first need to know what it is you are trying to do.
    Simply mounting solar panels doesn't cut it.
    I can tell you I would consider flexible panels instead, mounted directly to an existing deck surface.
    Although, finding an area with unobstructed exposure to the suns rays would be a priority
    as even a rope across a panel can result in significant voltage drops and inefficiencies.

    Best of luck.
     

  15. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    4x4s awful heavy

    best way is to glass tab them to the deck substrate
     
    Will Gilmore likes this.
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