When a solar panel blows off - Page 6 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-21-2015, 12:33 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
ETI told me that the flying panels happened due to high cross-winds; I can see how that would add "uplift" under a panel that overhangs the crowned center. I learned this after I installed ABS wind deflectors with 3M RP45 tape on the leading edge of my panel.
Interesting. I'm wondering how an aerodynamicists would view your deflector. I'm wondering if the vortex created would cause a massive low pressure area on the top of the panel, creating lift and wanting to pull the panel upwards.

Just musing, I wouldn't worry about that situation in my case because I wouldn't have panels on my roof that weren't mechanically fastened.

Ron
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:38 PM   #52
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Charlie, That deflector is just what I'm thinking. Did you add side skirts also ? Reese also told me it was high cross that caused the failures.

I still believe that improper install techniques were a contributor to the failures, but yes, "Taping" anything down atop an Rv that is subject to heavy wind loads is of concern.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:01 PM   #53
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The photo you posted in thread 25 of 'our solar panel blew off' shows tape and epoxy.
There was no tape in our installation. What you see is just the remaining epoxy and the impressions of the rails in the remaining epoxy.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:35 PM   #54
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I'd say vibration and flexing of the shell, add some heat cold cycling, and the the bond Is failing. Add a gust of wind and the panel finally comes loose. The gust isn't the cause it's just the 'last straw'.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:35 PM   #55
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There was no tape in our installation. What you see is just the remaining epoxy and the impressions of the rails in the remaining epoxy.
I think I was mistaking the broken gel coat in your photo for torn foam tape.
Sorry.
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:13 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Interesting. I'm wondering how an aerodynamicists would view your deflector. I'm wondering if the vortex created would cause a massive low pressure area on the top of the panel, creating lift and wanting to pull the panel upwards.

Just musing, I wouldn't worry about that situation in my case because I wouldn't have panels on my roof that weren't mechanically fastened.

Ron
Actually my deflectors are 6 inch wide pieces with 1/8th inch in between so it follows the crown - losing one piece wouldn't be a huge damage issue for following windshields. There isn't a whole lot of vortex formed at 70 mph - stick your hand out the tow window at 45 degrees to sample.

After Reace said it was a cross-wind issue I went ahead and mechanically fastened my panel down with the ETI kit. If you put deflectors on the front and both sides you can't get under the panel very easily to wash the rig.

Left my deflectors on the front side just to see how the tape holds up. Due to potential liability issues, my biz does not make products that attach to the outside of trailers - while I have confidence in the tapes, the problem is always the installer not getting the surfaces truly clean.
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
I think I was mistaking the broken gel coat in your photo for torn foam tape.
Sorry.
No problem...it took us a bit to figure out what was what up there! Yes, I think you are right that the broken gel coat could have been mistaken or torn tape residue.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:22 PM   #58
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Before my last trip, I washed the trailer and inspected my solar panels. The curb side was tight but I could see day light coming under the street side, not good.
Jim, Terry went outside and did as you described and was happy not to see day light.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:32 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Actually my deflectors are 6 inch wide pieces with 1/8th inch in between so it follows the crown - losing one piece wouldn't be a huge damage issue for following windshields. There isn't a whole lot of vortex formed at 70 mph - stick your hand out the tow window at 45 degrees to sample.
My comment was referring to your photo in post 50 with a much larger than an 1/8" gap. In that case a deflector plus a large gap at 70mph certainly creates a vortex and uplift on the panel. Very similar to someone putting a wind deflector on the rear of their tow vehicle and wondering why their propane cover levitates.

Ron
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:52 AM   #60
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Jim, Terry went outside and did as you described and was happy not to see day light.
Good, sometimes the break may take awhile to show, in my case about 18 months
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