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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / mounting frame for solar panels
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# Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:41

again thanks for a great site.

i just received a 60w panel kit (sunforce ordered off amazon).
my 12x28 cabin roof is east west facing so i plan to build a mounting frame that is south facing. my solar panels are 4 15w panels on a flimsy pvc frame. i have some ideas in mind, but i am hoping some one else with better ideas has solved a similar problem previously and can offer suggestions.

also, i plan to run the wires in pvc conduit to reduce rodent exposure. any other suggestions - is galvanized better. i will not have to run more than a 10-15 feet or less.
thanks for the help. -b

# Posted: 13 Jul 2010 15:32

You can see how I mounted mine . I used a solar panel mounting kit , but some aluminium channel should work good and be cheaper. I did not run the wires in conduit. At the time it did not cross my mind. Its a good idea

# Posted: 16 Jul 2010 23:12

You could find one of the BIG older satellite dishes that some one no longer want s,, pole and base without the mesh dish make a great solar mount,, tilt to track the sun,,

# Posted: 25 Aug 2010 21:47

I have a question about solar panels in northern climates (i.e., central BC, Canada) for an off-grid cabin.

I cannot use solar panels in northern climates because:

. batteries cannot sustain themselves in cold climates;
. solar panels must be angled to encourage snow to fall off the panels.

I am wondering if people have different experiences?

# Posted: 25 Aug 2010 22:11


Batteries should be fine in winter just as long as they are charged. Think of your car battery.

In central BC you will be mounting the panels at 50+ degrees to catch full exposure of the sun in winter. (For the brief time it is up, that is.) That should keep most snow from adhering to the panel.

The main concern I was told is the inverter, if you use one. The people I got our set up said they don't work below freezing. In the next breath they said that some tho seem not to mind the cold.

The way we have got around this is to put the inverter inside along with the batteries. By the time we have our shed up to room temp the batteries and inverter will be warmed up to operating temp. When we leave we shut off the inverter. The batteries will still be receiving some charge on sunny days to keep them topped up.

But this is just my opinion/info.

# Posted: 26 Aug 2010 09:26

I am in upstate NY. The average snowfall is 300" per year. I had no problem with my batteries last year. I use a snow rake to clean my panels if need be. In general you can set your panels to the latitue of your camp. That seems to be the average angle that works best. Your batteries should be fine if they are fully charged when you leave. My inverter works fine when its cold. I have not had a problem with it.

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