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WWW.renogy.com RNG-100MB 4 Monocrystalline Solar Panels 100w ea. $198 each, CTRL-MPPT40 1 Charge Controller 40amp MMP $188, TRCRMTR-MT-5 1 MT-5 Tracer Meter for MPPT Charge Controller $36, AK-20FT-10 1 Wiring/Connectors 20ft MC$ Adaptor Kit AWG 10 $35, TRAYCB-8FT-8 1 8ft Wire copper Tray Cable AWG 8 $23, MTZ-ZB 4 Solar Panel Mounting Z Brackets Set of 4 $48 Free Shipping $1,122.00

Purchased these in February. I was impressed with quality of packaging, best packaged products I have ever received. It was am easy install, directly to roof using supplied brackets making sure to use lots of silicone sealant. I was only able to fit four on roof behind the A/C unit and with Awning brackets it was a tight fit but finished nicely. Great Quality product. I can see the 40-60v on meter and the small icons indicating active charging. I know nothing about Solar technology but feel I have installed a pretty good system. I use this to charge three 200ah sealed lead acid batteries in Parallel 12v. In addition to solar charging I have installed 60w Sterling Starter Batteries to House Batteries (Bay Marine-Alan), AIMS 4000 watt Inverter also charges house batteries.
Can we see a picture of these mounted to the transit? Were you worried at all about highway speeds? I've seen some people complain the z-brackets are too small/flimsy in the reviews on amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I installed two 160 watt renology panels on Thule Bars along with an awning setup. It is solid. After initial drive, there was a good bit of wind noise, so I installed the longest thule ferring that I could buy. The ferring pretty much reduced all the wind noise.




 

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Below. 8020 15 series crossbars supported by our tower brackets mounted on a short wheel base, medium roof Transit.



The crossbars are exactly 55" long (not 55.25 as stated earlier). Next step is to figure out a roof layout which will include a vent fan, solar panel(s) and room for hauling a paddle board or two. We will probably add the other (middle position) crossbar.
 

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Hein,

When do you expect to have more roof towers in stock on ebay?
 

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We are working with our vendors to get more of our towers made. Expect to be about 4-5 weeks from having stock. We are making some updates to make our towers more versatile. We do have some towers for longitudinal rails which are done but we have not had an opportunity to machine some incidental parts to complete the kits.

These are the rail towers that work with 15 series 8020. We have these available now.




Normally the 8020 shown would have a slot on the top but its the first piece I grabbed. Instead one would use 1504-LS-Black-FB with a slot top and bottom. Length of the rails depends on how many support towers you want to utilize and the length of the van. I have all those lengths figured out.

 

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Would you be able to mount a solar panel to these and still clear the curved roof?


We are working with our vendors to get more of our towers made. Expect to be about 4-5 weeks from having stock. We are making some updates to make our towers more versatile. We do have some towers for longitudinal rails which are done but we have not had an opportunity to machine some incidental parts to complete the kits.

These are the rail towers that work with 15 series 8020. We have these available now.




Normally the 8020 shown would have a slot on the top but its the first piece I grabbed. Instead one would use 1504-LS-Black-FB with a slot top and bottom. Length of the rails depends on how many support towers you want to utilize and the length of the van. I have all those lengths figured out.

 

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Would you be able to mount a solar panel to these and still clear the curved roof?
We didn't want to increase vehicle height with these so the tops of the rails are about even with the top of the center of the roof. The rails are 58.5" apart.

You would need some 1/2 to 3/4" thick spacers between the panels and the rails to clear the center of the roof. We can supply some Celtec blocks for that if needed. Which panels are you considering?


P.S. We will have more towers for 8020 crossbars as well. We are making a design change so that the cross bars can extend beyond the tower.
 

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We didn't want to increase vehicle height with these so the tops of the rails are about even with the top of the center of the roof. The rails are 58.5" apart.

You would need some 1/2 to 3/4" thick spacers between the panels and the rails to clear the center of the roof. We can supply some Celtec blocks for that if needed. Which panels are you considering?


P.S. We will have more towers for 8020 crossbars as well. We are making a design change so that the cross bars can extend beyond the tower.
Hein,

I would like to purchase your new design towers as soon as they become available. You mentioned they are 4 to 5 weeks out. So they should be available early August? Here is the rack I plan to built.
 

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Hein,

I would like to purchase your new design towers as soon as they become available. You mentioned they are 4 to 5 weeks out. So they should be available early August? Here is the rack I plan to built.
Yes, they will be available by August. They are functionally the same as the earlier version.
 

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Testing an Allpower poly backed flexable 100w panel air temp 76F
Panel on flat concrete drive facing east to west noon no clouds on Vancouver Island amp reading 4.21
Panel '. '. '. Facing north to south amps 4.25
Panel on van roof following roof curvature east to west amps 4.25
Conclusion van cuvature has a bit of gain.
Tested the Greesonic aluminum backed panel flat on ground amps 5.46 obviously a more efficient panel
Next will do temperature tests.
 

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Noon full sun no clouds air temp 76F
White van roof temp 109F
Panel temp 126F
Removed panel temp of roof and bottom of aluminum panel 109f
Ammeter reading of panel on roof 2.41
Reading on concrete drive way temp of concrete and panel 101F (30 minutes later so temperature can adjust) ammeter reading 5.1
Conclusion the heat is seriously impeding preformance of the panels.
First I thought it was my controller so I replaced that , then got more panels but getting same results with new panels on ground versus on van,
Combined the Gresonic100 and Allpower 100 to a 40 amp Renology MPPT CONTROLLER and I get 2.41 amps and 14.7 volts. Anybody have any ideas?
 

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I know almost nothing about the subject but I do know that the white van stays cooler inside because it reflects a lot of heat. We unloaded a big white truck full of furniture in 122 degree heat once and the reflection off the truck was deadly. Your panels would possibly stay cooler on top of a black painted roof.
 

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I know almost nothing about the subject but I do know that the white van stays cooler inside because it reflects a lot of heat. We unloaded a big white truck full of furniture in 122 degree heat once and the reflection off the truck was deadly. Your panels would possibly stay cooler on top of a black painted roof.
My suspicion is that this doesn't matter much. The roof area under the solar panel is not reflecting much of anything. It's in the shade.
 

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No, but the rest of the roof is throwing off heat. Why else would the panel be cooler sitting on concrete?
Not having run careful tests, here's my hypothesis:
Van:
1. A van gets hot inside, white not as much as black.
2. Heat couples up from the van's interior, through the highly conductive metal roof onto the rear of the panel.
Theory would say that a black van would be worse for a panel's efficiency.
The reason that you found it hot working next to a white van supports this hypothesis. The white van is reflecting heat away from the van to where you are standing.

Concrete:
1. The concrete is tied to the large ground heatsink, which is able to suck heat from the panel.
2. If you shade a piece of ground, it will be cooler than the surrounding ground. That's how @orton's floor vent scheme works.

This is why it's more dangerous to leave a dog in a van than lying on the ground outside.
 

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Actually black is a better radiator of heat than white. It also is a significantly better absorber.

I know almost nothing about the subject but I do know that the white van stays cooler inside because it reflects a lot of heat. We unloaded a big white truck full of furniture in 122 degree heat once and the reflection off the truck was deadly. Your panels would possibly stay cooler on top of a black painted roof.
Not having run careful tests, here's my hypothesis:
Van:
1. A van gets hot inside, white not as much as black.
2. Heat couples up from the van's interior, through the highly conductive metal roof onto the rear of the panel.
Theory would say that a black van would be worse for a panel's efficiency.
The reason that you found it hot working next to a white van supports this hypothesis. The white van is reflecting heat away from the van to where you are standing.

Concrete:
1. The concrete is tied to the large ground heatsink, which is able to suck heat from the panel.
2. If you shade a piece of ground, it will be cooler than the surrounding ground. That's how @orton's floor vent scheme works.

This is why it's more dangerous to leave a dog in a van than lying on the ground outside.
 

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True. Black is a better radiator. Black also absorbs & converts the visible light part of the spectrum to deep IR (heat) spectrum, instead of just reflecting the light. This is the heat radiated into the car. White reflects the visible energy away as light, converting far less of it into IR.
 
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