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BARGES: All about barges and barging - building, buying, maintaining, equipment, handling on the water, etc.
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TOPIC: Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof

Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 22 Nov 2019 14:06 #111646

Hi Bob

Our roof is composite GRP-cork-GRP with about a 25mm thick cork fill, therefore there is room within the sandwich to thread the cables though to a common junction box hidden within the wheelhouse. In conjunction with fitting the solar panels we are fitting recessed LED down-lighters, www.svb-marine.fr/fr/quick-plafonnier-led-ted-dore-poli.html The holes for these will also allow access to cable cable connectors. Sealing the holes in the roof with sikaflex 219, plus the holes will be covered by the solar panels which are also stuck down with additional sealant to the edges too.

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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 22 Nov 2019 13:49 #111644

I used cable glands which were located just under one of the solar panels. Thus minimizing potential water issues

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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 22 Nov 2019 13:20 #111640

Tim Harrold wrote: Hi Lorna

We have a similar winter project planned, and are planning to fit solar panels to our wheelhouse roof . Solbain custom make coloured, flexible, and self adhesive 3mm thick solar panels which are also back wired therefore no unsightly junction boxes on the wheelhouse roof either.

Regarding wheelhouse roof construction, our roof is five composite GRP Panels sitting on laminated timber roof beams, see attached too,
.


I have had a very similar plan, Tim, and intended doing this last winter... but maybe this coming one. La Chouette has a very similar roof construction to Randle except our supporting channels are aluminium. I wonder how you plan to get the cables back inside if they exit the panels on the back. Do you intend going through the roof material and if so how will you ensure no water gains entry. Cable glands? I take it the cables can be disconnected from the junction boxes as you wouldn't want to cut holes in the roof big enough to take the boxes, I guess.

Have you thought about putting details of Randle in the Barge Register?

Best wishes,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette
In DBA Barge Register:
barges.org/members/bargeregister/bargeregister-search?assetaction=detail&vesselid=165

Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 22 Nov 2019 09:32 #111639

Hi Lorna

We have a similar winter project planned, and are planning to fit solar panels to our wheelhouse roof . Solbain custom make coloured, flexible, and self adhesive 3mm thick solar panels which are also back wired therefore no unsightly junction boxes on the wheelhouse roof either. We plan to use white coloured panels, and then colour tint the remaining roof to match the panels for a truly integrated look. The white panels are about 30% less efficient than black but because they due not suffer from reduction in efficiency due to solar heat gain like the conventional black panels in real life hot conditions they are probably only 20% less efficient, plus with cooler panels the wheelhouse will suffer less from heat soak too. Attachment shows Solibian sample panel.

Regarding wheelhouse roof construction, our roof is five composite GRP Panels sitting on laminated timber roof beams, see attached too,

By using LED lighting throughout, upgrading our batteries to 20kw of GEL running through a 5kw inverter, plus 100A 24v alternator to the main engine means that will not longer need to run our generator under normal operating conditions whilst still meeting the demands of our cruising clientele.
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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 20 Nov 2019 02:28 #111566

It's worth remembering that solar panels work best when cool, so it's good for there to be a flow of air under them.

It's not totally unknown for some joker to jump off a low bridge onto a boat, so you probably need more strength than panels alone would provide. Otherwise you might find one day that you have a new helmsman.
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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 18 Nov 2019 10:08 #111513

Hi Lorna, have a look at semi-flexible solar panels, they are not as efficient as the bulky panels but at 3 mm thick they can look integrated.
With some tricky electrics you may be able to put a solar panel on each roof panel to fecilitate installation and removal.
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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 17 Nov 2019 20:39 #111502

I rather agree with Paul that panels and roof should be separate, for repair, replacement or upgrade.

Pete
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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.

Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 17 Nov 2019 16:51 #111494

Hi Lorna
Having had solar panels "killed" by heavy hail stones, I would be reluctant to install them in an integrated roof structure, and would fix them "on top" of a roof, so that they can be repaired, changed without too much dismantling of the roof structure.

3 x 3 metres is a large area to be "self supporting" unless it has quite a curve, so that the forces within it are in tension, on the outside and compression on the inside to give it strength to hold itself. Imagine a piece of corrugated cardboard, flat its quite weak, make it into a curve and support the sides and it's strength more than doubles.
Hope this helps.
Paul Hayes
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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 17 Nov 2019 12:50 #111491

Lorna

we are in the middle of doing exactly that.

Conceptually it is quite easy, the devil as always is in the details. The releasable fasteners seem no longer appropriate , how we elegantly hold the new roof down took some thought. we are rejigging the lighting system with changes in switch and light positions. Again ruining cables needed thought. The solar panels is easy but the integration may be problematic due to the age of the investor/battery charger.

We bounced through the shipyard in September , which was very useful and meant we could with their experience resolve many of the problems quite quickly. they are making the new roof, and some other bits to be fitted in March.

Ask me in April if it was worthwhile

Tony
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Integrated solar panel wheelhouse roof 17 Nov 2019 10:52 #111486

  • Lorna Baker
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Hi,
We're thinking about making a new roof for our wheelhouse, and integrating some solar panels into it.
Obviously it needs to be light weight, but it won't be collapsible, so we don't need to be able to lift it off in sections.
we'd like it to be self supporting across the 4m x 3m roof area, because we'd rather get rid of the aluminium channels, but not sure if this is possible.
Has anyone done something like this?
Thanks
Lorna
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