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Aargh! Solar Panel Mid Clamps


Pony
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Hi Guys.

Do you also not enjoy solar panel mid clamps? They hard to tighten when you need to put the second panel in. We tempted to use end clamps, but this leaves a little space between the panels and suppose looks un neat. What you guys feel?

P

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  • 2 months later...

Look at my pictures in the gallery. I put a ball-bearing into the head of each cap screw - that prevents somebody from loosening the cap screws with an allen key or screwdriver etc. etc.

Aah, ok. Makes good sense. But, I guess, if they really really want to steal the panels, other (power) tools could be used to remove said mid clamps?

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Aah, ok. Makes good sense. But, I guess, if they really really want to steal the panels, other (power) tools could be used to remove said mid clamps?

 

They can steal anything - any anti-theft device is simply put in place to retard the process or to deter the thief.  :)

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They can steal anything - any anti-theft device is simply put in place to retard the process or to deter the thief.  :)

I have actually considered building an alarm of sorts, which will scream when the panels disconnect from the frame. The problem is, everything is open accessible so it can be disabled quite easily. Will give it some thought again.

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I have actually considered building an alarm of sorts, which will scream when the panels disconnect from the frame. The problem is, everything is open accessible so it can be disabled quite easily. Will give it some thought again.

 

I also though of doing something like that, but then decided against it. 

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Loctite not needed - I've added a little bit of grease to each one and you really have to spend some time to get the balls out of the holes, not even a needle or a pin gets the ball out.   :)

Quick question: where did you get the ball bearings, apart from breaking open some wheel bearings?

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Wow, I didn't know that. Will pop by Bearingman sometime... What size balls did you get? And what size is the allan-cap? (My installation is a bit far just to go check quickly) 

 

I'm not sure what the size of the balls are, but the cap screws are M8. I think the balls are 6mm diameter. I just took a cap screw with and asked for balls to fit inside the "hole". Needless to say I was frowned upon.  :)

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Strong magnet and a cordless drill will do the trick. :P  :D  

 

There will be a way, it is just a bit more effort than to simply use an allen key. I've tried a magnet though, initially, before the grease was added, it worked, but after the grease was added in and around the ball, the magnet on its own failed.  :)

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Hopefully that is the next owner's problem in 20 years' time.  :) There will be other ways of getting them out, but as I've said, the idea is only to retard the theft process.

I'm not referring to theft. But, what if you want to upgrade, or replace a broken  panel in the future? I am planning on using my setup for more than 20 years and need to plan ahead, with the least amount of damage.

 

P.S. You can PM me your methods if you want to ;)

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I'm not referring to theft. But, what if you want to upgrade, or replace a broken  panel in the future? I am planning on using my setup for more than 20 years and need to plan ahead, with the least amount of damage.

 

P.S. You can PM me your methods if you want to ;)

 

PM'd you.  :)

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