Solar panel mount

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by SeriolaDumerili, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. SeriolaDumerili
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Croatia

    SeriolaDumerili Junior Member

    Hi everybody, I am looking for ideas to make a pedestal for a solar panel on a stern of my boat. The stern is wide and completely open and this construction should be in the middle. The stand must carry a panel that weighs 7 kg, and be relatively narrow that I can pull a small inflatable byboat between stand and the boat side. I am thinking about 150cm carbon tube with support (letter U upside down). Any suggestions (pictures !) are very wellcome :D
     

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  2. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Seriola, a 7 Kg solar panel is not large, could you show us a picture of your panel in relation to your stern. I would make it folding up and then like a turntable moving it around a stainless steel pipe of 30 - 40 mm. Bert.
     
  3. SeriolaDumerili
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Croatia

    SeriolaDumerili Junior Member

    Hi Bert, thank you for you answer. I am expecting the panel next week. Bought from Solartronics:
    Artikelnummer 05080M113
    Gewicht 7 kg
    Typ solartronics T 080 M
    Nennleistung Pmax 80 W +/-3%
    Nennspannung Vmp 18,06 V
    Leerlaufspannung Voc 21.6 V
    Nennstrom Imp 4.43 A
    Kurzschlussstrom Isc 4.89 A
    Temperaturbereich -40°C ------80°C
    Maße 970 mm x 550 mm x 30 mm
    The stern is wide 280 cm.
    Maybe should be enough just a tube with bigger foot, don't know what are the loads of 7-8 kg on 150cm height (not so violent on the stern when slaming on the waves?) I am thinking about rotation of the panel for better insolation, and putting "out of the way" when needed.
     
  4. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Seriola,
    Nice little panel. Yes, like you had in mind. Folding it up inwards and turning it out like flat screen TV pedestal. However with some soft rubber or plastic at the corners for accidental bumping against it. 8 kg , 1,5 meter high on rough sea means, 4kg (1/2 panel) at 50 cm = 2kgm = 1/30 of a horsepower. If you select the right thickness wall for the pipe and approx 30 - 40 mm, it should be fine. The 1,5 meter height x 8kg + overhead of 2 kg= 14kgm = 1/6 of a horsepower. The thickness of your pipe wall will determine whether it will sway or not.
    Bert
     
  5. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Seriola, In the olden days, I am now going back some 40 years, we were installing those 80 watt panels with hardened glass. It was always cute to see the eyes popping out of customers faces, when we jumped with our shoes on the panels from a height of 1/2 a meter. I looked at the website, but cannot find any reference to the surface material. If it is hardened 3 mm glass, you don't have to be worried about any problems, maybe for your interest, ask your supplier what surface material does your panel has. Bert
     
  6. SeriolaDumerili
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    SeriolaDumerili Junior Member

    Jumping on panel? I was walking over panels like over the eggs ;)
    When you say 30-40mm do you mean the size of the pipe base?
     
  7. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Yes, jumping with 2 people. They were made in France by a company, which was bought up by Philips Eindhoven at that time. Siemens bought at a later stage the distribution rights of those 80 watt, 37 cells and they are still in operation in Betty's bay by the Telecom company after 40 years. I don't think they make them so rigid anymore.
    No 30 - 40 mm, I mean the diameter of the pipe, with a wall thickness of a minimum of 0.6 mm and a baseplate to suit Seriola. It can be a 3 legged base or a 4 mm SS round plate of 20 cm mounted to her deck. The top should be a swifting system with a mechanism like a TV pedestal on a wall or like in hospitals against the sealing. Bert
     
  8. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    I would make it a little taller so that there is less chance of the panel hitting someone in the head. Some people would make a single post, others would create a rack that goes from the side, up, over, then down on the other side.
     
  9. SeriolaDumerili
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Croatia

    SeriolaDumerili Junior Member

    Hi jonr, I am affraid that I don't have enough space for the base if I raise the height. I am newbie in this, and Bert have opened my eyes concerning forces that pedestal with panel will generate on the base. This boat is pretty fast, previous owner changed everything that he can in carbon and now, if I make big metal construction I will be a target for jokes in my sailing club forever ;)
    Now expecting offer from local shop. I have ordered also a Morningstar MPPT charger and 160AH GEL battery, can't wait to mount everything.
     
  10. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Seriola, don't worry about your club members making a joke about your system. What you have ordered is perfect. Now all what you have to do, is to come up with a mechanical construction, what make sense for your boat, what could possible be folded away while sailing or not having to use the system while having a race. Rather talk to 20 people and find the best solution. You never know, somebody may come up with a solution your club members will be jealous about. I agree with you that lifting the panel to 2 meters will be too tricky. What about swerving the panel over the water away from the stern, when not sailing. Do you need to charge your battery while racing? Bert
     
  11. SeriolaDumerili
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Croatia

    SeriolaDumerili Junior Member

    Thank you again Bert, I am starting with short course races, with bigger risk of damaging the panel on contact with other boats. I will remove the panel before race. Otherwise, the panel will be on the pedestal. I also send a request to carbon shop to check the cost. The sketch is I hope understandable, the base is going on the end of the stern between two small hatches.
     

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  12. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    In those days we went to the "Hiswa" boating fair in collaboration with Siemens Solar. I had an SM-50 panel supported on both ends only and invited customers to stand on it or did it myself.

    If you do that with a Chinese panel from Solartronics it shatters immediately.
    Since May 2013 I have two 200W panels from them on my roof, supported by aluminum profiles along the long sides so they won't break if a seagull lands on one.
    They do perform very well though: I bought a cheap grid tie inverter and feed whatever they produce into the grid. That lowered my electricity bill with a little over 1000 Kw this year.
     
  13. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi CDK, yes I bought myself 2 x 240 watt panels for my boat, but the supplier assured me that they were made in Germany. I made a construction to fold the 2 panels on top of each other, when not used , as protection. When used, I fold them out. I am not 100% convinced that they have a 3 mm hardened glass on the panels, thus I also will not try to walk over them. However would you know, would it help, if a thin plastic layer is placed over the panels to protect the surface better? Let say with hail? I may loose 2 or 3 % energy.
    Bert.
    Sorry Seriola for deviating on your subject, but it is also in your interest
     
  14. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Seriola, the measurements are, I assume, for carbon fiber? If for stainless steel, the weight will be substantial. I do hope, I have interpreted the drawing correctly. Bert
     

  15. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    If you are going to remove the panel when sailing, then you can just mount the panel flat on the deck somewhere. Very simple.
     
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