Solar panel advice, mounting at an angle.

Hi all, So I have a Suncamper that I wish to install a large LG neon solar panel on...
due to the size (1.7m wide x1m long) theres only really one space to fit it.
Ive indicated in red a picture on a similar model where it would go.
However im concerned that since it is tilted forward, there will be a lot of air pressure acting on it like a big wing when driving at highway speeds...

not sure if this is a bad idea or not. Since panels have a gap on the backside, I'm concerned it could flex and damage the panel.

I was thinking If needed, I could make a center brace running front to back against against the back side of the panel, to help support the middle and reduce the flex. maybe an aluminium square bar with some high density rubber against the back side of the panel.

would like to hear peoples thoughts or if anyone has mount a panel the same


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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:33

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:33
I'm no aeronautical engineer or fluid flow scientist, but I reckon there's not an issue. My uneducated guess is the front section with the logo on it will direct the airflow over and a bit above your panel.

However your support idea sounds fine, IMO.

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Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:46

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:46
I too agree there is not an issue in your situation. However, on large panels subjected to inertia from repetitive road corrugations I have placed a 3mm aluminium strip edge on across the panel so it sits inside the frame and some silicon between the strips edge and the panel backing so no abrasive action takes place. Just gives support to the very centre of the glassed area. They do bend.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:51

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 08:51
I do have experience in fluid dynamics and can tell you that the air velocity over the panel in that position would be somewhat higher than the vehicle travel velocity. However, this in itself should not be a problem other than the possibility of panel flutter, so a reinforcing member as you propose could be a good idea.
However, there may be some risk of the leading edge of the panel being lifted by the air velocity so closing the frontal gap between the cab and panel may be advisable.

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Follow Up By: Billy T2 - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 09:01

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 09:01
Thanks for the quick replies.

glad to hear its not a completely stupid idea.

I think I will reinforce it anyway for peace of mind.

RMD: The silicon sounds like a good idea.

Allan B: yes I do plan to close the panel gap at the front.

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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 09:10

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 09:10
I would also suggest some clear edge sealer tape from the likes of solar4rv, placed along the front of the panel it will prevent any air flow getting under the panel. Down side is it will probably have an affect on the cooling of the panel.

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Reply By: SCUBADOO - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 15:16

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 15:16
Our motorhome has 3x 270W solar panels on the roof with the front one at a very similar angle on the luton.
All are mounted using L shaped 300 x 50 x 50 x3mm aluminium extrusion lengths Sikaflexed to the fiberglass gel coat. No screws involved.
They have survived 6 years of full time travel so far.
My last clean and inspection 2 hours ago. They are not flying off anytime soon. (-;

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Reply By: Dean K3 - Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 16:46

Friday, Jul 31, 2020 at 16:46
Ive seen a few panels mounted at far steeper angles at front of few troopies -to point they reflect sun and gets me in eyes as I'm driving towards them. Your angle and location is at least out of view of a oncoming driver.

Not sure if this panel is a solid one or a flexi panel.

Camec do make a solar mounting kit which secures at corners and has mid section supports giving enough airspace for cooling when stationery uses a few holes to secure both panel and attachments though.

No matter what method you use even simple aluminum angle bracket holes will need to be drilled for attaching brackets.
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Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Aug 02, 2020 at 02:18

Sunday, Aug 02, 2020 at 02:18
I'd be spending the money on a lazy axle first.
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