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Thread: Mounting Solar Panels on Roofracks

  1. #1
    Administrator Gary's Avatar
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    Mounting Solar Panels on Roofracks

    Are there any precautions when mounting solar panels on roofracks?

    Are certain panels better than others for this application?

    I know there can be a lot of air racing over/around roofracks when travelling at 100 km/hr, and the pressure under a flat mounted solar panel has me worried. My roofrack has a wind deflector on the lover edge of it, so most air should be sent up and over the panel, maybe.



    Just wondering if I should maybe sheet the bottom side of the panel?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    So you want it mounted up there full time?
    I did see one mounted fulltime on roof cage and it was one of them fold up style ones, he opened it when he wanted to use it and it closed up other times and protected panels this way when carrying load on cage.
    Last edited by CatchinJack; 09-04-14 at 09:21 AM.

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    Now that's a good idea, mounted under cage for protection.

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    Administrator Gary's Avatar
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    Semi permanently. I want to be able to unclip it and take it off if needed, but most times it will be up there.

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    You could always make a sliding rail system and slide it out forwards when stopped, that way it sits under cage protected and slides out for action when needed, just an idea.



    Then you got the roll out type panels that roll up and take up little room


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    I have some brackets on my roof racks to carry a 140W panel, and have used it 3 or 4 times..

    Can't find the photos of it yet, but it has a pin in each corner and when in use, 2 pins get removed and the panel swings up and 2 short legs fold down and lock it in place..

    You have to orientate the 4wd to suit the sun ( park it facing east ), but it works great....I have a 15M lead (10mm2 ) to enable the 4wd to reach the sun..

  7. #7
    Administrator Gary's Avatar
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    I like your idea with the pins and being able to prop the panel up if needed Greg. Did you take any extra precaution regarding the wind pressure under the panel when travelling? Is this an issue you think?

    Leo I've never seen the slide out panel idea before, but it is a good one.

    My idea is to mount it so nothing has to be done if parked for a while, but for prolonged stops maybe prop it up like Greg's to make best use of the available sunlight.

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    Forum Master Graham's Avatar
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    G,day Gary you could of had a look at mine on the weekend ,it's mounted towards the rear of the rack, it was up towards the front but I spun the rack around as it's easier for me to load up the rack with the panel at the rear
    It's mounted about 5-10mm below the bed of the rack, so you can slide things along without worrying damage to the panel
    The only thing I had to change was the actual mounting rail that acts as the bit of flat bar that mounts to the roof gutter I cut the old one off and welded a new one on that was 15mm wider ,I had to extend this as by the time the panel sat in its cradle the cabling coming out of the panel was way too close to the roof and it would of rubbed so I extended the rack up 15mm,I'll race outside later and take some pics
    How much room from the actual bed of the rack to your roof do you have Gary ,that may dictate what panel/panels you can run
    Apart from them little glitches it's been up there for a number of years now with no problems whatsoever
    Oh it's a 80watt panel
    Cheers

  9. #9
    Administrator Gary's Avatar
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    Graham, the Gobi rack came with a section at the front which can be removed if not needed. My intention was to make up something similar to mount the panel to, and then I'll have the option of removing the panel, adding the Gobi insert, or just having nothing there. I don't really mind if the panel is sitting up higher than the bed of the rack, as I'm hoping not to have anything overhanging there if possible.

    Hope these picture explain what I've got to work with.








  10. #10
    Forum Master Graham's Avatar
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    Looks alright mate ,maybe I should of had a closer look at your roof rack on the weekend
    Looks like plenty of room to do what you require
    Cheers

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