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Solar gland


trialsrider

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I'm going to fit solar on my boxer van. I've been up on a ladder measuring things and looking at cable entry points. I can get a 150w panel up there easily which will be ample for my set up. I had a 100w panel on my previous van and it was plenty for my needs. My concern is the cable entry. Where I want the cable to enter the van is where the roof corrugations are with no real flat areas. The width of each corrugation appears to be 70mm and all the twin cable solar entry glands are much wider than this and would obviously overlap making it harder to seal around it. I was thinking maybe using either two single glands which are about 60mm width or one single gland but with twin core solar cable thus needing one entry point. What have people been using or have you entered the roof on the larger flat areas where there are not corrugations?
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Mornin'..

If you can't find anything within the solar panel & motorhome accessory field, what about broadening the search, to the likes of a high quality "plastic"( polyester?) junction box?

Example -

This gives options to search by size & IP rating.

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/fuses-sockets-circuit-breakers/electrical-installation-accessories/junction-boxes/

 

 

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Do you have the possibility of bringing the cable through the roof under the panel itself?

If so you could do what I do and not use a gland. I've always cut a single 16mm hole and then bonded in a length of 15mm UPVC plumbing pipe with an up-stand of about 30mm above the roof.

It makes a neat installation as there are no visible cables but you do need to be able to locate the panel above a suitable cable entry point.

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Thanks for everybody's responses. I think I may go down the route of single gland with dual core cable. I wonder what sort of seal could be achieved with the compression seal on such s gland and an oval type cable that this dual core cable seems to be ?
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trialsrider - 2020-05-12 1:18 PM

 

Thanks for everybody's responses. I think I may go down the route of single gland with dual core cable. I wonder what sort of seal could be achieved with the compression seal on such s gland and an oval type cable that this dual core cable seems to be ?

 

If you are worried about that use a round twin core flex, but if the grommet is a good one it will take up the shape, I have come across some nasty semi hard grommets which would only be suitable for round cables.

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trialsrider - 2020-05-12 1:18 PM

 

Thanks for everybody's responses. I think I may go down the route of single gland with dual core cable. I wonder what sort of seal could be achieved with the compression seal on such s gland and an oval type cable that this dual core cable seems to be ?

Try here: https://tinyurl.com/yag6fb42 Index Marine, and look for "side entry cable glands" if the link doesn't take you straight to the right page. Several sizes available. Very neat, low profile, and fit, and seal, well. Also, as with most marine kit, good quality. I fitted one to our van in mid 2018 to get power out to an external light, and am very happy with it.

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I've found a spot very near the front of the van which is both flat on top and big enough to take a double gland cable unit. It would be an easy fit as it is directly above the parcel shelf so out of the way and no cupboards to route it through. I've circled the area in a photo. I'm just concerned it is too near the front of the van. Obviously cables and cable entry to gland would be facing the rear of the van. Those glands are pretty streamlined so I can't see it causing too much problem so far forward in terms of wind force / drag or am I underestimating this ? I could then run the cable down inside the plastic cover containing the drivers seat belt and to the battery. I don't think you could see the gland from floor level either.

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I sited mine (Ducato PVC) on one of the raised portions to either side of your proposed location, on the basis that it would be less likely to end up sitting in a puddle whatever angle the van was standing at.

 

If you have the full width internal PVC coverstrip between the interior headlining and the over cab head lining, that is held in place by push-fit splined plastic buttons, make sure you get a set of new ones before you start! My experience was that they do not pull out intact!

 

The part number for mine (light grey) is 735532792. Description 6301672281/93 button neutro cielo. It isn't a common item, and it took two dealers to find the correct part! Even if yours differ in some way, those numbers should, with any luck, get the parts man to the right bit of the parts list to understand what is needed.

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Brian Kirby - 2020-05-12 6:40 PM

 

I sited mine (Ducato PVC) on one of the raised portions to either side of your proposed location, on the basis that it would be less likely to end up sitting in a puddle whatever angle the van was standing at.

 

If you have the full width internal PVC coverstrip between the interior headlining and the over cab head lining, that is held in place by push-fit splined plastic buttons, make sure you get a set of new ones before you start! My experience was that they do not pull out intact!

 

The part number for mine (light grey) is 735532792. Description 6301672281/93 button neutro cielo. It isn't a common item, and it took two dealers to find the correct part! Even if yours differ in some way, those numbers should, with any luck, get the parts man to the right bit of the parts list to understand what is needed.

 

Thanks for the info.

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I'm going to use the 670mm aluminium aero rail brackets on the front and rear of the panel to fix it to the roof. I was going to key both the surfaces of the bracket and van roof with a light sanding. What sikaflex would people recommend and what depth of sikaflex would be optimum?
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trialsrider - 2020-05-12 9:08 PM

I'm going to use the 670mm aluminium aero rail brackets on the front and rear of the panel to fix it to the roof. I was going to key both the surfaces of the bracket and van roof with a light sanding. What sikaflex would people recommend and what depth of sikaflex would be optimum?

Bearing in mind the potential consequences were it to de-bond while in transit, and that "Sikaflex" has become something of a generic term, I'd suggest you contact Sika's technical department to get product recommendations and specific guidance on surface preparation, application, and joint depth.

 

There are pre-tapped fixing points on both sides of the roof (intended for roof racks, but commonly used for attaching awning brackets), and my own preference would be to use those to attach a support frame, and then mount the solar panel to that frame by through bolting. Most DIY shops sell aluminium sections (including some anodised profiles), but alternatively you could look on Amazon where a wider range of sections should be available, including rectangular hollow sections. Some suppliers cut to length and charge by the metre or part metre.

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