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Author Topic: Roof wart solar panel ideas brainstorming  (Read 1076 times)
Mex-Busnut
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« on: January 05, 2013, 10:18:36 AM »

Dear Friends:

I hope everybody had a great holiday season!

I am looking for some ideas for mounting some solar panels on my roof. My bus came from factory with the two fiberglass roof warts with the Carrier© air-conditioner logos on them.  (See picture.) They are supposed to be related to the OTR a/c system, but are in fact just empty shells, just for looks. (On later-year versions of my bus --1985-1987--, they DID contain parts of the a/c system.)

I have been playing around in my over-active but incredibly brilliant and humble brain about mounting the solar panels to these or even inside these. Maybe use some electric activators from old huge TV satellite dishes to move them, (the huge dishes that used to be used in homes before small dishes and cable came along). This would be to raise the panels into position when parked, and lower for travel.

We have not yet acquired the solar panels, but they are high on my list. I am thinking to aim for four 180-watt panels, which seem to be a very popular size down here in Mexico, and thus the lowest cost per watt.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and ideas!

Have an incredible, very blessed 2013! 
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
lostagain
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 11:11:01 AM »

I find solar panels work quite well when the sun is high. In your part of the world, the Tropics, the sun is high all the time, compared to say up here in Canada, where solar panels only work well in June and July. So I would keep it simple and just mount them flat up on your roof. Can you remove those AC warts? If you mount the panels an inch or two off the roof, you will get some shade out of them too.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
Ralph7
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 03:05:12 PM »

     I have 4 ea. 210watt X 29.9volt Panels, mounted flat. A morningstar MPPT 60A controller. If I wanted to tilt them I could, but so far they handle, recharge my 12volt(6 golf cart) house bank.
     I installed stainless 1/4X20 blind nuts, bought the installer tool an fastners from same place.
     I installed them, blind nuts in the cross ribs.
    When you install combiner boxes on roof, use 1 each for Pos. an 1 for Neg. also way over size wire from roof to controller, I used 2 double 00 welding cable, voltage loss in wire is a big deal.
     Now I have a MC-8 40ft, with 3 fantastic fans,1 roof AC and 1 useable escape hatch. My panels are 39inX 59in, big and heavy.
     My refrig is a selfdefrost 13cuft, takes much power, satlite TV an a  laptop.
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RJ
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 03:37:44 PM »

Dr Steve -

Ben Willmore is planing on using solar also on his Flxible Starliner, but he's got an entirely different idea.  He mentions it in the "Progress" section of his blog:

http://creativecruiser.com/

Might want to touch base with him for more info, but give him a week or so - he and Karen just got married!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
S13406 Now
Fresno CA
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 06:14:51 PM »

How do you keep it sooss clean?  We toyed with PVs with the Crown Supercoach ex-schoole, (never converted) wanna-be Bus Conversion and found that for the panels to work in direct sunlight...the coach also had to be in direct sunlight  which in hot weather was a no-go.  I mean really a no-go.  Way too hot...like 110+F inside.

Any way you can have your coach in the shade and the panels in the sun?  Flexible heavy gage mining or welding cable is kinda cheap if you can find it used and it MAY also let the panels be set out in the sun while the Coach remains "made in the shade".  Energy needs?  Are you going to low amperage LED lighting?  HB of CJ (old coot) Smiley
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Lin
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 08:18:00 PM »

We bought some self sticking panels but have not installed them yet.  They would be okay in the winter when we would want to park in the sun, but not so good in the summer when we would not.  The idea of setting up the panels away from the bus could work but would require extra setup, take down and storage.  Further, not only would you have to do that when you leave, but anytime you went for a ride or a walk.  I haven't decided yet if it's worth installing them.
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lostagain
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 07:43:33 AM »

Our 5C is well insulated and will stay cool for a long time in the sun on a hot day. We run the generator if it gets really hot late afternoon to cool it down. Or you could run the AC off an inverter if you had big enough battery bank.

In the Courier 96, I had a swamp cooler that just needed 12V to run one fan/pump combo to operate. The solar panels kept up to that easily. That only works well in dry heat. Had a roof AC and generator too.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
Uglydog56
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 12:29:26 PM »

I have 5 230w panels to go on the roof of my bus.  I have not started installation yet, but I have a fairly evolved plan to execute.  My plan is to build a "bed frame" out of 1" aluminum angle that the panels set down in. There will be legs every roof brace (35" on my bus).  The "feet" will be glued with sikaflex, then bolted on either side of the leg.  Then I will do the elastomeric roof coat to seal up any potential leaks from the bolts on the feet.  The panels will be 1" above the roof at the crown of the roof.  This should provide some shade/cooling as previously discussed.  My bus has 3.5" of insulation in the roof, and 2.5" in the sides, so sitting in the sun isn't a big a deal to me as it would be to others.  Make sure your panels are as high or higher than everything else so they don't get shaded.

I'm not planning on hinging my panels, but I'm not ruling it out either.  Not applicable to you but my roof raise is only on the back 2/3 so it looks like a buffalo.  I am incorporating a luggage rack into my panel mounts on the front 1/3, using the front 2 panels as the top, and hinging them so I can get to lawn chairs etc that are stuck up there.
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Rick A. Cone
Silverdale, WA
66 Crowny Crown "The Ark"
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