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Old 17-06-2014, 06:30   #1
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Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

Hello, I need information about securing a solar panel to the stern railing (pushpit) on a 25' sailboat. Panel size is 35" x 24" and is aluminum framed. I'd like the panel moveable (up and down) to effectually catch the sun.

Manufacturing systems would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much, Tholepin
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Old 17-06-2014, 07:27   #2
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

Here is a great article from Compass Marine that has a step by step guide to doing this.

The guy who put this up is very knowledgeable about boat electrical systems and posts here under the name Maine Sail.

Good luck,

Jesse
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Old 17-06-2014, 08:48   #3
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

The system you need should allow you to do the following...

Slide the panel down the inside of the pushpit so it is protected when docking.

Tilt to any angle so it can catch the maximum sun.

Remove immediately with no tools in an emergency.

www.noa.se is a company that makes a solution that works well.
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Old 17-06-2014, 10:50   #4
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

I use the Plastic Rail Clamps through bolted to the solar panel then a 3/4 stainless rail on a 45 degree angle from the outside of the panel to the boat for support.

Browsing Shop - FAST MOUNT RAIL CLAMP FITS 3/4" 1" AND 1 1/4"
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Old 17-06-2014, 16:19   #5
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

My panels came ( used) with Magna grill style mounts that work on 3/4" or 1" rail. Kinda expensive but seem to be pretty good and flexible.
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Old 24-06-2014, 10:01   #6
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

Thank you all for giving me great options and very good ideas. I hope others may benefit as well.

Sorry for the delay, I must hunt down libraries to get on line.

Peace, tholepin
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Old 24-06-2014, 11:11   #7
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
I use the Plastic Rail Clamps through bolted to the solar panel then a 3/4 stainless rail on a 45 degree angle from the outside of the panel to the boat for support.

Browsing Shop - FAST MOUNT RAIL CLAMP FITS 3/4" 1" AND 1 1/4"
I used the same clamps on mine, and ordered some adjustable bimini support poles that will extend, to allow me to tilt the panel up and down a fair degree depending on the need. The poles were these:




Should mention that not all versions of those clamps work for everyone. In my case, I have 7/8" rails and had to tweak my inserts a bit to get a snug fit. I did see the same with that option, but forget what make and vendor they were.
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Old 24-06-2014, 11:19   #8
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

These SS Split Mounts work well for mounting Solar Panels

Gemini Split Type Side Mount
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Old 24-06-2014, 13:29   #9
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

My panels are larger than yours but mount should work fine. Got plastic rail clamps from West Marine. Bolted those to rectangular aluminum stock approximately 1"x2"x the width of the panel. Those were bolted to the panel. Allows the panel to be rotatated down for docking and rotated up for max output. The panels are held up by wood braces that are inserted to deploy ans removed to stow.

I wouldn't be all that concerned about tracking the sun. Unless you have a universal swivel mount that allows you to track in all axis you won't increase output all that much. It's also a pain to keep moving the panel to track the sun.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:34   #10
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Re: Rail Mount System for Solar Panel

Hello again,

We have had great success with Gatz (sic) clamps/track system (Defender 159.) bolted to the 85W solar panel with aluminum stock and clamped to the pushpit. We had been using two wooden dowels to hold it horizontally, but the extendible Bimini poles is an elegant solution.

We wish you a safe haven from Andrew, and fair winds thereafter . . .

Tholepin
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