Originally Posted by DC Boyd
I will be reinforcing the leading edge. May just be a piece of Aluminum angle.
After our daughter's front-mounted solar panel failure
, we reinforced the frame on our front solar panel. We added 59-1/4" long, 1-1/2" x 1/8" thick aluminum angle to the front and rear. Purchased angle from local Lowes.
The rear panel angle was pretty easy to attach using 1/4"-20 x 1" stainless bolts and hardware. We could get our hands underneath to put on the washer, lock washer, and nut.
The front was a different beast. The 1-1/2" angle + solar panel frame depth + height above the roof made access extremely difficult. The panel height above the roof, especially in the middle, was barely enough to get a flat hand beneath. It was too tight to reach in from the side or rear. Used ladders on the side for access, without putting weight on the roof.
Had to use 2" long, threaded full length, stainless bolts to be able to slip on the flat washer, lock washer, and nut. Attached the washer, etc. to my fingers with masking tape and felt around until my finger got the washer to slip on the bolt end. I had a 7/16" box wrench that I slipped over the nut, holding it tightly against the frame as I tightened the bolt head using a socket wrench. Took 5+ minutes per bolt, and I had to extract the wrench using a magnet tool.
Hopefully this modification will result in a long trouble-free panel life.