It’s been awhile since I reported in regarding status and progress made with our solar project. The great news is that we are very close to lifting the panels and integrated tilt brackets up onto the roof of the motorhome. Constructing the brackets has not been difficult, but is tedious. Lots of hand cutting and drilling, as well as filing and sanding pieces to shape. Here are some photos…
This is a stock section of angle aluminum, drilled with a sufficient number of holes to provide infinite “tilt”, depending on angle of the sun during peak charging hours. Each section of angle aluminum was rounded to keep me from injuring myself.
The strut bars are 1/8″ thick by 1″ wide. Each bar was cut to length to allow for an angle of 45 degrees when fastened to the outermost holes of the brackets. Different angles can be accommodated using the same bars. Time will tell whether these particular bars will be stout enough. If not, they can be replaced with thicker stock. They seem pretty solid when “bench” tested. We’ll see.
This photo shows a completed bracket. As mentioned, there are no shortage of adjusting holes, most of which may not be needed. But who knows. The brackets incorporate nylon spacer washers and are designed to collapse and be self-contained when flat on the roof. An added benefit of the angled aluminum is that the panels will have plenty of clearance for air to pass underneath, aiding in cooling when the panels are not tilted.
Here is what the nearly completed panels look like when tilted by their new brackets. So, what’s next you might ask? Well, once we purchase a few more fasteners that we ran out of, we will be ready to hoist the panels onto the roof of the motorhome, and after final positioning, we will begin screwing them in place and then sealing the screws and screw holes.