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Old 08-06-2009, 17:58   #1
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Solar Panel Mount to 1" Tubing

I'm adding 4 130watt panels to Island Hops - got to power the new fridge/freezer - and will be building a frame from 1" diameter ss tubing. I got the design from a sistership P39. My issue is in locating a mount to attach the panel to the tube frame. I'm looking for some type of inexpensive split block to encircle the tube with screws on either side to bolt to the panel. My sistership fabricated thier own fittings from some kind of hard plastic material. I'm in the midst of an engine swap and other projects before a down island trip and at this point just need a solution.
Yes I've checked westmarine/defender etc. but I'm not finding what I need.

So to those of you who mounted panels to tube - what fittings did you use and where did you get them?

Thanks in advance,

Island Hops.

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Old 08-06-2009, 18:09   #2
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The mounting blocks I obtained were from a hydraulic hose supply.They are used for supporting hydraulic pipes.Made from a nylon type material,I just changed the bolt to ss Hope this helps
cheers Steve

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Old 08-06-2009, 18:21   #3
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cutting board plastic

made mine of cutting board plastic.

start with 2" squares. cut out the center with a one-inch hole saw. counter sink for two 2.25 inch bolts running through the square on each side of the center hole of the perpendicular axis. now cut the squares in half, bisecting the center hole on its original axis.

cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 08-06-2009, 18:32   #4
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I used u-bolts to the tubes. I screwed my panels onto marine Plywood to give it extra stability. Bolted the u-bolts to the plywood.
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Old 08-06-2009, 19:09   #5
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I used a mount bought at a marine store ready made for things like mounting BBQ's on the rail. Inexpensive and strong.
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:05   #6
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I used something like "Quartersplash's" post on my last boat. West Marine sells it and Johnson Marine manufactures it. It is basically a stainless steel strap bent into a 1" hole in the center and two bolt holes at the end of the strap. When you tighten the bolts, it tightens the clamp around the tube and locks it in place. Price was only about 8 buck last time I saw them.
Greg, SV Cat Tales
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:24   #7
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I used two pieces of 1/8" x 1" aluminum strips bolted to the panel edges and two plastic rail clamp mounts fro wastemarine..model #5142070. I removed the small rubber disc that was on the insid surface so that they would rotate around the 1'' tube. Sorry, I forget what I paid for them.........
Do not go where the path may lead.........
go instead where there is no path........
and leave a trail.
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:34   #8
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I've used these for a few projects. They're not cheap but they do come in pairs and work great.

Fast Mount Rail Clamp
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:49   #9
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I mounted 4 ICP brand solar panels using the brackets included and hose clamping the brackets to the 1" ss tube frame. Not an elegant solution and I like the ones I read above. You can just make out the clamps in the left picture below. Two more panels were added later to an extension of the frome continuing over the cockpit enclosure/bimini/dodger.

The hose clamps held the panels in place for a 1000 mile trip from Charleston, SC to Norfolk, VA and back on the ICW including 55kt winds on Mothers day 2008 in beaufort , NC. Also held for a 1500 mile trip from Charleston to Abacos Bahamas including being hit by 2 10' breaking seas broadside and the array taking the brunt of the hit.
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Old 08-06-2009, 20:57   #10
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I used the mounts that PA28235Pilot mentions to mount my 130 watt Kyocera panels. They work fine but will not keep the panels in position when mounted off center on the panel. Mine are mounted about 1/3rd of the way down on the short axis of the panels. Need a pole of some kind to keep the panels horizontal which is no big thing.

Peter O.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:00   #11
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IslandHops - can you pass along the frame design? I'll be doing something similar next spring on our Privilege 39... Can you take some pictures too once it's completed? Thanks!!!
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:16   #12
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I drew mine up and had a customer make them up for me (although if I hadn't been lazy I could have done it myself) from Delrin. They support my panels without the need for a strut.


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