Solar on Daul cab

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 16:22
ThreadID: 140769 Views:969 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
Hi all, I haven’t been able to find a thread for solar panel mounted underneath the roof racks, so mounting areas will be permanently shaded, I’m thinking of 140/200 watts , only wanting to keep the rear 40LT Engel battery topped up, It gets very hot in the plastic canopy , so fridge works hard,
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Reply By: Kazza055 - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 16:44

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 16:44
Hi Ray.

I have fitted 2 x 160W panels onto my D-Max. I already had bars on the cab but they did not work out with the panels so I fitted 2 x cross bars and then used stainless steel hose clamps to fix the panels. I used 2 lengths of 25mm square tube that was a very tight fit into the bottom edge of the panel frame. I then fixed the 2 square tubes clamping them both to the cross bars.




With the canopy, I was lucky that the panels just fitted between the 2 roof bars so I cut slots in the panel frame and again used the stainless steel hose clamps to fix the panel to the 2 bars.


On both front and back, I used some clear poly tube between the clamp and the panel to stop ant vibration.

I have had these on the car for over 6 years now and there is no sign of movement of the panels. The only problem is that they do create a bit of wind noise which I could probably reduce by filling the underside of the panel to remove the cavity - any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Follow Up By: ray t1 - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 16:52

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 16:52
Thanks for the info kazza, I’ve seen some one had larger size aluminium angle, they closed up the angle & pop riveted & urethaned to the front of the panel
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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 17:02

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 17:02
Hello

Maybe consider a slide out solar panel - I provide these as examples

80 watt Slideout Solar Panel

100 watt Slideout Solar Panel

80 watt and maybe 100 watt is probably a bit small but no reason a larger panel couldn't be used in same fashion. I assume you can buy slides and mount your own panel??

Another option/idea

Solar Panel Roof Rack Mod

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Greg
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Follow Up By: ray t1 - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 17:17

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 17:17
Yer , great idea, cheers
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 20:33

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 20:33
You will need an MPPT controller to get anything worthwhile out of a shaded panel. PWM controllers are only as good as the worst performing sections of the panel.
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Reply By: Denis H - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 22:23

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 22:23
Fixed a 120W Portable Solar Panel to the D-Max roof bars and use its solar charger to maintain the Tug Canopy dual battery (105amps) for the Frig. Also have a 240VAC charger and GPO for when Tug is in its home garage.



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Follow Up By: ray t1 - Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 22:29

Saturday, Nov 21, 2020 at 22:29
Thanks Dennis, that’s the same roof racks, you have a tidy set up
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 09:27

Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 09:27
Mounting a panel in under the roof rack is not practical, the shaded strips will
prevent any power generation.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 13:28

Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 13:28
Totally agree. You,ll lose nearly all your output.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 14:25

Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 14:25
Ditto, and it's because in a panel cells are connected in series and in series/parallel, depending on the size of the panel. If you shade a cell that is part of a series string, that string becomes unproductive.

Same with panels in a series string. Shade a panel or a part of it and that whole seriesed string drops out or drastically reduces its output.
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Reply By: Member - David P (WA) - Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 22:17

Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 22:17
Hi Ray,

What I did on my Forester was to bolt three pieces of square aluminium tube, going front/back, to the bottom of my cross bars. I used spacers to ensure that the top of the solar panel was below the top of the cross bar, so I can still use the cross bars to carry stuff. There is a piece of aluminium angle going side to side at the front and rear of the solar panels, that is riveted to the square tube.


cheers
David
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Follow Up By: ray t1 - Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 22:41

Sunday, Nov 22, 2020 at 22:41
Well done
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at 06:49

Monday, Nov 23, 2020 at 06:49
Hi Ray t1,

One would assume you are only looking to actually have the solar panels powering your fridge whilst you are stationary. Otherwise anything on top of the roof rack and indeed the roof rack itself would render the solar panels next to useless. The “slide out” solar panel mounting slides look good, but how heavy are they? I know a fridge slide weighs a fair amount. If you are only intending to power the fridge whilst parked up, why not just use folding panels or a folding blanket. If you want to run your fridge whilst driving, better to install an auxiliary battery and charger to run from the car.

To help with the fridge, do you have it in an insulated travel bag? Have you thought about adding a couple of 12 volt extraction fans to your canopy to help vent the hot air? I have seen some canopies that have fans installed complete with filters.

Macca.
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