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PaulF007

Panel Installation Ideas

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11 hours ago, plonkster said:

I have two frames made out of 40x40 angle iron. That stuff is insanely useful. The important thing is to treat them with the right kind of paint/covering. My one frame is holding up very well. The other one is rusting and I plan on replacing it with an aluminium frame.

You are spot on! Red oxide does the trick. I had the option of 40x40 but was sceptical about weight issues. The cost where am at of 50x50 vs 40x40 was almost insignificant (dont know why). Only the mind restricts the versatility of these pieces of metal.

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5a02af959e11d_2016-11-1212_02_57.jpg.cea96b3ae5d7a5d3805161643e22211b.jpg

My East facing roof-mounted Canadian array gets full sunlight from about 7:30am. With hind-sight I would have left spaces between the modules as the spaced mid-clamps give for ventilation. On this used handy antitheft clips. The next DIY is to re-orient this array to face north. The roof slants at 10 degrees so some thought on the base frame in process.

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8 minutes ago, Kalito said:

sceptical about weight issues

My first frame was 40x40x5mm, that's heavy stuff. For the second one I went 40x40x3mm. Still heavy, but perfectly sturdy, and the panels sit on two 3m lengths of the same stuff so thats' definitely a tad overengineered. Both of them.

Then I made my first aluminium frame. First, the speed at which you fabricate is something else. Second, how neat it looks. Third, it's so light. Fourth, much less galvanic corrosion issues (because of the mismatch between the aluminium on the panel and the steel of the frame), which is important if you live within 10km of the sea. The downsides is that you need a mitre saw with a decent aluminium blade, and the cost of the material is definitely a bit more (a little over double by my calculations).

In my limited experience the fabrication speed is faster, because the mitre saw cuts faster than my angle grinder (probably not a fair comparison, should be comparing to a bench grinder), and drilling a hole and sticking a bolt through it is so much faster than setting it up carefully, welding it, hammering the slag off... and then painting it!

On the other end of the scale, I recently acquired a new 200A inverter welder and I've been itching for a project to use it on... :-)

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On 2016/11/02 at 12:24 PM, superdiy said:

Edit: I you check my panel mounting pics above you might notice Sikaflex everywhere between the different components...

Hi super, what was your reasoning for that, I have ordered everything I need to relocate my panels to the roof, also uni strut and similar clamps to the ones you used. Should start relocating next week / weekend. 

Just want to see if i should maybe include what you have done with the sealant. 

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On 2016/10/28 at 4:26 PM, ibiza said:

thinnest is 0.8mm. 1 mm is the most popular at Rubicon. I used 1mm and didn't have any problem with the structures for more the one year.

1mm is too thin, you might as well buy thicker and spend less on the mounting points.

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I did not wan’t to spend money on pv brackets so used what I had lying around in the garage, the hilti brackets came in handy. I just bought the channel 40x20 from central support systems. The panel sits on M8 studs and panel height is adjustable.

9F320FA8-3E06-40C0-956D-1B1E38C4D3F1.jpeg

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