2017-06-25: Solar panels

 

Another big job done this weekend, and one we faced with some trepidation – installing the solar panels. While they’re not yet wired up, they are now mounted on the roof. It’s a very tight fit up there, as we want to fit 2 large panels (1m x 1.3m) as well as a roof light and fan.

Cleaning and polishing the roof. Our last chance before we cover it with solar panels.

We had measured the available space, and checked for obstructions both inside and outside, but until you start the job, there are no guaranteees. Sure enough, we soon discovered our first brackets supplied with the panels didn’t  quite fit between the raised ledges that run down the edge of the roof. So we had to mount the brackets on the inside of the aluminium frame of each panel. Mounting to the panel was easy, but when it came to mounting them to the roof, the brackets were underneath the panels.
This was the easy bit, before we had to deal with misaligned holes and bolts in hard-to-reach places
 

Aluminium angle brackets mounted underneath the panels. The only way to fit them on our roof
Fabricating some spreader plates to go on the inside of the roof skin, to spread the load in case of an upward force in the panels
Spreader plates. The clear goo is the CT1 adhesive

So we had to lay the panels where we intended to place them, mark all the holes with a pencil, move the panels aside, drill holes and then hope they all lined up. 

As well as M6 bolts (2 per bracket, 4 brackets per panel) fastened with locknuts, we also glued each bracket down with CT1 adhesive and fabricated some aluminium spreader plates to spread the load on the inside of the roof. 

We also made some progress buying materials we need to fit the rooflight and fan, installing more insulation, and treating more rust we found on the roof.

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