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Old 05-08-2017, 06:10   #1
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How to seal two solar panels together?

I need to seal two Kyocera solar panels together tightly, side by side, so that they do not drip through the seam between themClick image for larger version

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ID:	153416. I was planning to use butyl tape however I also want the water to remain close to potable as well.

Is there a food grade sealant, welding,or other material or approach that can accomplish this purpose?
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:30   #2
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

There appear to be "food grade" silicone sealants available from
A number of manufacturers. Still I don't know if I'd want to be eating or drinking off this stuff...

https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Food-Gr.../dp/B0063U2RWU
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:39   #3
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

Silicone is available in food grade. It's UV resistance and stays very flexible. I know they're many who are resistant to silicone, but it does have purposes and excellent long life in the sun. If you ever remove the panels, which well happen at some time, the silicone becomes a pain. I use the 3M reloc disk, they work very well for me, won't scratch the aluminum. I wouldn't be afraid of drinking the water off it, after going through a filter. Any dirt on the panels, the UV well kill it. If birds sit on them, might have to wash off.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSU3PYQ...a-312385222261
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:29   #4
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

Perhaps an "H" or "T" section rubber extrusion.

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Old 05-08-2017, 10:28   #5
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

What I did on my panels was use an double sided adhesive foam tape (try saying that fast) and then covered that with aluminum foil tape. Seems to be holding up well after years in the PNW and Alaska rain.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:39   #6
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

Kyocera indicates you need something like 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between panels to allow for expansion and contraction. At least my 140watt panels had that in the install instructions.
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Old 05-08-2017, 18:27   #7
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

A neutral cure silicone or polyurethane such as Sikaflex will be fine from a water contamination viewpoint. If using Sikaflex use one of the low modulus (=higher movement) types i.e not the flexible adhesive structural bonding types such as are used for teak caulking or construction, otherwise it's very difficult to ever separate them. My suggestion is to use a spacer so that you leave a joint width of minimum 2mm and don't necessarily fill the full depth of the gap, just the top 4mm or so - so that you could cut through it later if necessary to separate.
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:22   #8
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

invent a rain gutter of pvc so the water runs off the system not thru it...
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:14   #9
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Re: How to seal two solar panels together?

I used 1/2" round gap insulation. The kind you buy at a hardware store to fill gaps. But it was round, not flat. It fit perfectly between my panels and then I put black vinyl electric tape over the top to seal it. So I can remove panels without too much fuss.
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