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Old 04-06-2014, 07:27   #16
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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You could try using a flexible panel. Mine is a 125w panel weighing 4 pounds.
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Old 05-06-2014, 13:18   #17
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
could only find one photo on your profile page, and it's of you, presumably.

on the right hand side of the profile page is a gallery page -- there are some pics there -- hope that helps
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Old 05-06-2014, 18:09   #18
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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on the right hand side of the profile page is a gallery page -- there are some pics there -- hope that helps
Only see your boat (?) in a dock !
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Old 05-06-2014, 18:36   #19
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
I have two 33lb panels on mine and it works fine (I do have larger diameter tubing on the main bows).
Thanks for the good picture. Your bimini frame looks good and stronger than mine. I don't have the nearly vertical tubes going to the back rail. Only straps. Are the tubes really necessary ?

Similarly, I don't have the horizontal tubes (tubes A) near the top. I'm planning to install those. I'm thinking of putting two other tubes (tubes B) (to which the solar panel would be attached) across the top of the bimini, and then either bending the tubes B down the side (or using right-angled connectors) to connect to the horizontal tubes A.

I have straps at the top and each side of the front main tube.

What I am concerned about is that the whole weight is going to be supported by just one 1" tube coming down to the deck on each side. I think I'm going to need those near vertical tubes going to the back rail. Agreed ??

Picture of current set-up coming after next visit to the boat !

Will my local marine store (NOT very sophisticated) be able to bend 1" tubes, or do you have to get them done at specialists ?

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2014, 00:39   #20
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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Only see your boat (?) in a dock !

if you click on the boat on the dock it will expand and then you can click on each pic to expand and see how our panels are installed -- no tube bending ect
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:37   #21
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Here's how I did mine: 7/8 inch stainless. I've gone through over 100knts of wind with no problems.

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Will soon put rain gutters on the sides and shade cloth that I can roll down
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:01   #22
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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Originally Posted by macbeth View Post
Thanks for the good picture. Your bimini frame looks good and stronger than mine. I don't have the nearly vertical tubes going to the back rail. Only straps. Are the tubes really necessary?



Thanks
The tubes at the back eliminate the need for a forward strap (tension/compression). They also make the entire bimini stiffer.
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Old 09-06-2014, 21:21   #23
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

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Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
The tubes at the back eliminate the need for a forward strap (tension/compression). They also make the entire bimini stiffer.
No need for back straps either obviously. The attached photo shows my current situation. Do you agree it needs the back tubes ?
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:48   #24
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Re: Bimini strong enough for solar panel ?

I am in the midst of designing a solar panel mounting system for my bimini. I've found that the cost of fittings and tubing to add struts and a frame are going to come in around $400-500. This is before I've even mounted the panels to the frame. The stainless fittings are especially expensive at around $15-20 a piece and I've found that the tubing runs around $6/foot. This starts to make the semi-flexible panels start to look much, much more attractive. Not to mention the weight savings. I was looking at 2 x 190 watt rigid panels at 33 lbs each. I wouldn't be surprised if panels and stainless frame added more than 100 lbs to the bimini top. Now I'm thinking 4 x 100 watt semi flexible panels at 3 lbs each. With zippers I'll probably weigh in at 15 lbs total.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:30   #25
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4Arch, I purchased my fittings for $6 each and 6 foot sections of stainless steel tube for less than a hundred on Amazon. By adding the two horizontal tubes I was able to eliminate one of the existing tubes. See photo in earlier post
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