DIY Solar Installation
There are of course many variables involved in installing Photovoltaic (PV) Solar panels and associated hardware.
There are also a number of considerations for ensuring your system works to its maximum efficiency and is safe.
The first step is to make sure you have all the parts brackets cables clips etc before you start (including tools).
All of the parts you need are available from Renewable Power Solutions
If it is a permanent installation, considerable thought needs to be given to the most appropriate place to install the panels. Most important is that the chosen position will have sunshine all day, all year. The most efficient setup would be one that is at the correct angle and tracks the sun. Anything else is a compromise, but can still yield significant energy. (A separate page will provide more detailed information).
Reliability & Safety
To have a system that is maintenance free, it is important to make sure panels and cables are fixed securely, taking into account extreme weather conditions etc. All electrical connections must be made with good quality terminals etc and any junction boxes and electrical joints must be protected against water ingress. If required we can supply our panels with cable already fitted.
The energy and voltage from an array of solar panels could pose both a fire and electric shock risk if appropriate safety precautions are not observed!
Installing the Panel
There are various methods of installing PV panels. If you are fitting them to a flat roof such as a motor-home etc an air gap under the panel is essential for maximum output.
We can supply our panels with brackets that are simply attached with two or three Stainless steel screws per bracket (depending on panel size). With this option there is no need for drilling the panel or messing around with spanners etc.
The panel can be fixed to the roof using Sikaflex (heavy duty adhesive). Once cured, the panel can be removed with just a screwdriver. Security screws can be supplied if required.
Pic1. Roof mounting bracket kit (Note: When buying kit with a panel. we will pre fit the innner brackets unless instructed otherwise). Pic2. Panel with inner brackets fitted. Pic3. Panel pre drilled for Fixing kit.
If prefered we can also supply standard brackets to be fitted using your own method and fasteners.
Some people prefer to use screws for fixing the brackets to the roof for additional strength. Sikaflex is also required to avoid water ingress via the screw holes. Take care when drilling the roof, as there could be wires or pipes etc under the surface. Do not use screws that are any longer than necessary.
The cable from one or more panels needs to find its way through the roof or vehicle etc side. There are various weatherproof glands etc specifically intended for this purpose. If you need to route several cables including for example TV and Satellite coax, it may be worth using a junction box with waterproof glands an one hole for all cables. Whatever method it is obviously important to seal all possible water entry routes carefully. Any glands should ideally be facing away from the direction of travel. Cables should slope downwards from glands ar connectors to avoid a build up of moisture in these areas.