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Old 11-26-2020, 10:39 AM   #1
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Reinforcing front solar panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Boyd View Post
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.

Front view:


Side view:


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.

73/gus
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:12 AM   #2
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Certainly looks like it'll do the trick.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:42 AM   #3
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Very nice work. I don’t think there will be any further issue with yours or your daughters once this is in place on both.
Hopefully, anyone who has a similar front panel follows ur lead on reinforcing it.
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Old 11-26-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Well that's pretty bomb proof, well done.

Probably folks with a 5.0TA with a solar panel right on the front slope should consider doing that.

Ah, the old masking tape trick. Often use it or sometimes I use masking tape on the screwdriver to hold a screw on while I place it in an awkward position.

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Old 11-26-2020, 01:32 PM   #5
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Agree with others, looks like a good and economical reinforcement mod, well done!
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:17 PM   #6
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Just received ur 21C a week ago. I also reinforced the front panel with 1/8” Aluminum angle. I ran a full length 1” 3m VHB tape along leading edge of panel, stuck the angle, screwed with aluminum oval head screws.
Took very little time. Predrilled angle holes prior to mounting.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:44 AM   #7
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Planning to do the same, except instead of bolts I'll be using construction adhesive. That should avoid the access problems.
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