Solar panel mount fabrication - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-19-2010 Thread Starter
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Solar panel mount fabrication

I am trying to fabricate a mount (finally) for my 24" x 20" 20w solar panel. I plan to use those fast mount rail clips to hold the mount to the stern rail. I found planks of press-board in a 1x2 at Home Depot, which have some coating on them, they are white, and are said to be water resistant. I presume this would not work as is, but would if I were to coat them with epoxy? I have also heard that home stores also carry a similar version made of vinyl, in like a 1x3? I presume this would work as is, as it would be similar to starboard.

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-19-2010
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I have no idea what the mounting would look like, but despite using epoxy on it, I would be leery of using pressboard in a constantly wet environment. I would look at marine grade plywood or even teak. But again, I'm not sure of what the application will be like.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-19-2010
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Bite the bullet, and buy some tracks, or rails. They won't fail you, and things seem to fail at the worst times........i2f

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-19-2010 Thread Starter
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What kind of tracks or rails? Not sure what you are referring to.

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-19-2010
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DON'T USE PRESSBOARD!

Want a cheap mount for a small, light solar panel?
Use 1" ABS pipe and fittings, found in the plumbing section of your local big box store. Use four 90 degree fittings and four lengths of pipe to create a frame, use stainless screws to fasten the panel to the pipe frame, like you see here:





then use the necessary combination of rail hardware fittings or hose clamps and more ABS pipe to attach it all to your rail. If you want to get fancy, paint the ABS white.

DON'T USE PRESSBOARD!

Last edited by bljones; 07-19-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-19-2010
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That look like a great idea!

Dave

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-20-2010
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This is a picture from the outside, and underneath. The panel frame had predrilled holes on the bottoms of the frame. On my previous boat I took a track for a genoa car. Ran it perpendicular to the length with several struts, and then used the same Sea Dog rail mounts, so it could swivel. I did add as large as a washer as would fit on the inside too, and some never seize.

Sea Dog Rail Mount Brackets Rail Mount Bracket *Pr* - 327100-1 - BoatersWorld.com

There are actually 2 per package, so I ended up with lots of extras ......i2f
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MVC-001F.JPG   MVC-004F.jpg   MVC-033F.JPG  

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-20-2010
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Doc, go to the dollar store and buy a $5 cutting board. It will be made of white high-density polythene of some sort, 1/2" thick or more. Better than anything you'll find in the hardware store unless they're selling blocks of HDPE or UHDPE. Despite the odd source--this is the right material for the job. No problems with water or UV and you work it just like wood.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-20-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
DON'T USE PRESSBOARD!

Want a cheap mount for a small, light solar panel?
Use 1" ABS pipe and fittings, found in the plumbing section of your local big box store. Use four 90 degree fittings and four lengths of pipe to create a frame, use stainless screws to fasten the panel to the pipe frame, like you see here:





then use the necessary combination of rail hardware fittings or hose clamps and more ABS pipe to attach it all to your rail. If you want to get fancy, paint the ABS white.

DON'T USE PRESSBOARD!
That actuallly looked pretty nice. What exactly is ABS pipe and what is it made of? On another note, how many watt panels are those? How do you connect it to your vessel?

Dr. S.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-20-2010 Thread Starter
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I also noted this evening that Home Depot sells solid vinyl 1x 2's. I presume this would work ok also?

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