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Old 19-05-2013, 12:34   #1
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Controller versus Brace - Worry?

So, I've got the braces made for my two solar panels. The panel size is 21" by 49" and we have holes at 6" and 16" (open space) then 16" and 6" from each edge.

The potential problem is that the controller box is at one end and extends about 8" from the edge, thus, if I put the brace across the panel at the 6" place, I'll cover a portion of the control box.

Options I came up with are to put the brace at 16" on the controller end, and then use two smaller feet at the 6" mark thru-bolted into my pilothouse. The front end of the solar panel will be braced/thru-bolted at 6"

Is covering the control box a problem? I'm in the Florida at present and heading south...
The current panel has two braces using 2x1" red oak with 1" starboard under that raising the panel for better air circulation -- so that's what I had planned with these except this is 2.75" wide teak (decking from an old Chris-Craft)
Will covering the controller be detrimental? If so, what advice do you have?

One more question... two of the deck pieces are 1/16" thicker than the other two. My thought was to put the two thicker pieces forward, then at the second brace (aft) the thinner one, and then two feet (not spanning the solar panel) at the 6" hole. All would utilize starboard for the bottom layer.

Am I over-thinking the part where my wood pieces are thicker?

J, still learning but oh-so anxious to join this era and have refrigeration!
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Old 19-05-2013, 13:41   #2
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Re: Controller versus Brace - Worry?

What control box on the panels????

My panels just have a junction box where the wires that run to the charge controller and batteries connect to the panels. Unless you want to remove the panels or otherwise disconnect the wiring, there is a one time need to get in that box. Shouldn't be a problem blocking access if they are junction boxes as long as you can remove the offending pieces to get at the junction boxes if necessary.

Would think that two fasteners per side to tie the panels down would be adequate. Would think that some space for ventilation would be a good idea but it should provide for a level base all along. Unless they are flexible panels, not a good idea to bend them over different height risers.
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Old 19-05-2013, 15:20   #3
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Re: Controller versus Brace - Worry?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
What control box on the panels????

My panels just have a junction box where the wires that run to the charge controller and batteries connect to the panels. Unless you want to remove the panels or otherwise disconnect the wiring, there is a one time need to get in that box. Shouldn't be a problem blocking access if they are junction boxes as long as you can remove the offending pieces to get at the junction boxes if necessary.
Terminology error on my part... what I called the control box is that plastic box that the wires run out of -- actually a "junction box" -- gotcha. My concern with covering 1/3rd of it was that the heat generated might be bad for the wires inside. The wires exit and are plenty long enough to bring inside for the butt connectors (already purchased) and to I'll connect to the Morningstar ProStar-30 regulator.

My old panel has the same box but it is tucked right at the end where the support brace does not come near it. You're suggesting just to bolt down the corners then, without the necessity of a brace across the panel?
This is a permanent installation and I will expect the unit to stay stable and intact/attached even in gale force winds...

Still learning.
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Old 19-05-2013, 16:23   #4
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Re: Controller versus Brace - Worry?

Unless your panels have tabs on the outside, you'll still probably have to bolt the panels to cross pieces and then bolt the cross pieces to the boat. Depending on the side framing, could possibly pop rivet 'L" brackets to the sides of the panels and use those to fasten to the boat.

There should be virtually no heat in those junction boxes. Only way I can heat being an issue is a short or too small a gauge wire for the panel output. Right size wire and careful installation of crimp connectors should solve either of those possible problems.
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