The RV Forum Community

RVing message boards => Tech Talk => Solar => Topic started by: Desert_Rat on December 31, 2016, 08:51:48 PM

Title: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: Desert_Rat on December 31, 2016, 08:51:48 PM
We know that properly aligning your solar panels adds up to 30% improvement in their output, but how have you seen this applied? I'm stuck between wanting the aesthetics of not seeing the panels to superior performance of those panels. Not sure yet how I'm going to play that.
Title: Re: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: HueyPilotVN on December 31, 2016, 09:25:11 PM
There are a couple of ways to handle tilting your panels.  The most common way is to use tilt bars that connect to the threaded knobs on one side of your panel to allow you to lift the panel and insert the metal bar (brace) and reconnect with the threaded knobs. 

Another method is to use a servo lifting system.  I would recommend that you look at what Kevin Means has developed to see it however there is a reason that you might not want to use a tilt system for you application.

The large residential type panels that you posted on the other thread probably requires a large and heavy framework to tie the panels together and might, (more likely will), be too heavy to tilt on your roof.

I would also be very careful about insuring that the mounting system that holds your array down is reinforced inside so that it does not become a 196 square foot sail that either comes off or maybe makes your trailer a kite.

 
Title: Re: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: Kevin Means on January 01, 2017, 11:56:28 AM
We've sometimes seen as much as 40% more power by tilting our panels toward the sun, but several things affect that, like - which way our RV is facing, the cleanliness of our panels, the degree of cloud cover, how far north or south we are (especially during winter months.) All those things affect how much power we're going to actually see. https://youtu.be/PUEBOQ5U52o

Before we designed an automated system, our panels were flat-mounted with standard "Z" brackets. They held our 160 watt panels down just fine, but I always knew we weren't getting as much power out of them as we could be getting. There are a variety of manual tilt kits out there, and other than being a PITA to use, I haven't heard anyone complain about how well they work. You just have to climb on and off your roof to adjust them.

If you've got the room, another viable method of getting more solar power is to simply install more panels. The percent of increase in power will often rival that of tilting your existing panels. Then you wouldn't need to tilt them at all.

Kev
Title: Re: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: Desert_Rat on January 01, 2017, 12:11:09 PM
I would also be very careful about insuring that the mounting system that holds your array down is reinforced inside so that it does not become a 196 square foot sail that either comes off or maybe makes your trailer a kite.

That I wouldn't do as doing so would really invite leaks.

The panel is quite a bit heavier (2x) then your typical PV, but that weight is also distributed over, as you correctly stated, 25'. So it shouldn't be much of an issue. That said, I still intend on securing each L bracket to heavy gauge 6x6 aluminum sheet to distribute weight further. As far as extensions to angle the panels, my present idea is to use 2 cubed steel pieces, one which slides within the other. As long as the metal is thick enough it will be stable.

But the panels won't be going in for a month or so, so I'm still seeking different ideas.
Title: Re: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: Desert_Rat on January 01, 2017, 12:20:21 PM
That's one badass system,Kevin. kudos for coming up with it.
Title: Re: What are the best DIY angling brackets you have seen for solar?
Post by: supermanotorious on January 01, 2017, 02:57:31 PM
Heck yeah Kevin! Have you posted how you went about that so others can do it too?