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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Mounting solar panel on top of dodger hardware?
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Thread: Mounting solar panel on top of dodger hardware? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-05-2010 12:24 PM
SanDiegoChip Here are the pics of the final install.
Also a couple of a dock mate who did the same type of install only on top of his dingy davits.
Hope this helps,
Chip




03-02-2010 01:57 PM
SanDiegoChip
Where do you put em

For one I personally do not like them on the stanchions. Also we have limited room there with grill MOB stuff etc. If you hook the solar panels up in a series I think it is, then if part of the cells are shaded they rest will still work. I would think if you have a bimini then when sailing on the mounted on the rails would be a problem with shading also. OK maybe not in the tropics where the sun is directly over head. Any way there will be no shading on top of the bimini where we are putting 2 or 3 more. As the boat sits in the slip now I have the boom over to one side, no shading till the sun gets past the mast. If sailing then it would be the point of sail. We are going to be costal cursing the west coast of Central America. Limited days in a row of sailing. There are a couple of places where we will be out say 4-5 days but thatís about it. This topic could be like anchoring where it works best for us the way we do it.
I see solar panels mounted all over the place on boats. We happen to like the dodger and bimini for our needs on our particular sail boat. Kind of a non answer hugh?
Chip
03-02-2010 01:54 PM
sailingdog CD—

Most stanchions are poorly designed to mount the panels to and can't really take the strain of having a 5' x 2' wind catcher added to them.
03-02-2010 12:32 PM
Cruisingdad Aren't you guys going to have a problem with shading? Wouldn't you be better mounting them off the stanchions?

Brian
03-02-2010 12:22 PM
SanDiegoChip
fasteners

Forgot the dam camera so Iíll have to post pictures later this week.

Could not get aluminum fasteners at the fastener shop so I got SS.

For holding the aluminum plate to solar panel (SP).
I used two at each end.

8 - Hex SS 10-24x3/4 bolts
8 - nuts and lock washers

Used these nylon washers next to the aluminum then lock washer and nut on end of bolt.
SAE flat washer nylon #10 .062

Used for the clamps

SS Hex machine screw 1\2 longer than what came with the clamps.
I do not see these on the invoice so I think I did not get charged for them. However now I cannot tell you exactly what they are. I know they are the same but Ĺ inc longer than the original ones in the package,

8 - Acorn nuts #10-24

I did get some spares and did drop a lock washer over the side so be advised.
By using the acorn nuts it gives the finished look and locks the nuts in place.
Hope this helps,
Chip
03-01-2010 02:33 PM
SanDiegoChip
Short on the right fastners

Hi,
The four SS brackets we got to go onto the dodger frame came with different fasteners. Two had Philips screws and two had bolts. We plan on changing all to bolts and adding SS lock washers, and not using the plastic washers that come with them.

The screws that came with the “Helm” clamps are SS and are two short to go through the aluminum. They need to be about 1\2 longer, maybe 1\4 inch. You could use the plastic washers that came off the SS clamps for under the SS screws when attaching to the aluminum. I am going to the fastener shop today after work to see if I can get longer aluminum screws if not then longer SS ones. So the bottom of the black plastic clamps are missing as you can see.

There is a dock mate who has installed his Solar panel (SP) and used the clamps this way. I will take a picture tonight. He also had to get longer screws. Hep put the SS bracket that came with the clamps on the bottom for strength as the aluminum will take care of the top for strength. You will see in the final install. Also get some egcorn nuts for covering the open threads.

Because we did not have the correct fasteners we could not finish. We were able to get the height set up and the distance to install the aluminum plate on the SP bottom. This would vary on each dodger frame. We did get all the holes drilled the mounting aluminum cut and drilled and the SS 1” cut and installed.

The use of two 1” pvc pipes bungied to the dodger frame to start out with was handy for holding the SP and sizing things up.
Chip




02-25-2010 11:05 PM
agrainofsand Very good isolation of metals. Good JOB.
02-25-2010 11:51 AM
SanDiegoChip
Ok I went to the local marine store and they said this is another good way to go.

Ok I went to the local marine store and they said this is another good way to go.
Because I do not plan on lifting them to the sun, just leaving them flat, it works best.
Mount the flat aluminum to the solar panel side to side, in my case bow to stern.
Mount the plastic clamps to the SS rail.
Mount the aluminum flat stock on the solar panel to the plastic clamps.
Of sourse there are four clam shell clamps and four ends just not all shown in picture.
Also I need to cut the tubing and aluminum to make two pieces.
Done.
No SS or aluminum touches each other.
Use the clam shell SS brackets and the SS ends for the SS 1” tubing to mount to SS tube and the top of dodger.
The order in doing the install may be different, let you know.
This weekend we will do the work.
02-23-2010 07:21 PM
Livia
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoChip View Post
This week I will try mounting the solar panel. I am going to try to mount the Solar panel directly to the SS 1 ďtube with some SS U clamps and some rubber to keep the aluminum from contact with the SS.
Let you know how it goes.
Thanks,
Chip
Hi Chip - If you are able to post pictures (I know that can be a PITA) that would be fantastic. I'll be working on a similar project soon and would love to see how the U-bolts work out.
02-23-2010 05:27 PM
SanDiegoChip This week I will try mounting the solar panel. I am going to try to mount the Solar panel directly to the SS 1 “tube with some SS U clamps and some rubber to keep the aluminum from contact with the SS.
Let you know how it goes.
Thanks,
Chip
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