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Old 03-23-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
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Proper solar panel installation


I'm planning on installing three 15W solar panels on my 3 year old shingle roof, and I want to make sure I don't have any leaks. These will just be mounted on metal brackets with at least 1" of space below them for ventilation, no fancy tilt mechanism (my roof is 8-12 pitch, which is a pretty good angle for optimum output in the winter). How should I do this? I watched a video from a DIY solar vendor who seemed to just use silicone caulk (I assume; it was white) around the drilled holes before placing the bracket on top and screwing it in. And how do I handle the power cables?

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Old 03-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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PVC electrical conduit in conjunction with a proper roof boot.

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Old 03-24-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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What "Windows on Wash" says!

However, don't use "Silicone"!
Use "Quad" - "Solar Seal" - "Vulkem".....
"RF"
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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I've been pondering this myself as I'd like to maybe go solar. Though the biggest thing is figuring out some kind of mechanism that keeps the snow off, and that mechanism has to use less power than what the solar panels produce, or it's kinda pointless.

For the mounting I was thinking some kind of T brackets that slide under the shingles and are nailed from under. You don't want to just nail/screw anything directly on the shingles. Exposed nail heads = potential leak. Even with proper sealing product, I would just not trust that many exposed nail heads. I wonder how the professional installers do it. Maybe I'm just being overcautious for nothing in my thinking.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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I don't see anything wrong with being "overcautious"!
"RF"
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:30 PM   #6
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My pitch is enough to allow a light snow to easily slide off (remember, the panels are relatively smooth and dark in color) and since that section of the house is only one story, I plan to use the broom-and-ladder technology to remove anything heavy (the other section of the roof is much shallower in pitch, so I shouldn't be causing an avalanche).
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Even with proper sealing product, I would just not trust that many exposed nail heads. I wonder how the professional installers do it. Maybe I'm just being overcautious for nothing in my thinking.
I've seen some one-piece cast aluminum posts for this, but I haven't found a consumer supplier. I don't need 50, ya know?
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #8
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A fastjack with a roof flashing like the link below, thats how i would do it.

http://www.prosolar.com/prosolar-new...s-subpage2.htm

Select the fastjact pdf, it show the standoff base, the stand off and i think if you scroll down it shows the installtion in a comp roof.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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A fastjack with a roof flashing like the link below, thats how i would do it.

http://www.prosolar.com/prosolar-new...s-subpage2.htm

Select the fastjact pdf, it show the standoff base, the stand off and i think if you scroll down it shows the installtion in a comp roof.
That's what I was thinking of. But why is it that every job requires that I buy a new tool (the impact driver)!
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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That's what I was thinking of. But why is it that every job requires that I buy a new tool (the impact driver)!
I know the feeling.

I rented a jackhammer twice last year for one job and it's still not done. I should of bought the damn thing. LOL
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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I use mine so often i couldnt live without one. For me, its my most used tool at work / home. I probably use it everyday.

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