Episode 15 - Installing eight

solar panels on the roof

Electricity plays a big role in most life support and entertainment systems in a skoolie. I plan to have several possible sources of electricity, including shore power, a generator, and the bus’s alternator when we’re driving down the road. But I expect the main power source will be solar panels by Renogy. If I was able to order skoolie projects based on my interest level, I’d be hanging curtains next. But I don’t think it’s wise do any finishing work until I’m mostly done drilling holes in the ceiling and walls. And installing solar panels requires one to make holes. Thirty-two of them in my case. I watched countless YouTube videos in search of the best way to attach the panels to the roof. I was leaning toward a robust structure using C channel. It’s a good choice if you need to support a roof deck. But the solar panels weight only 14 pounds each. Renogy sells optional Z Brackets to mount its solar panels. But if I ever needed to remove a panel to replace it or fix a roof leak under it, I would have to unbolt the Z bracket from the roof, undoing and waterproofing around it. And with a finished ceiling on the inside, I don’t know how I’d re-attach the solar panel. So I designed a system using 1” wide flat steel, threaded couplers and angle iron. In the video I take you through the process step-by-step. It’s worth noting with respect to this video, and indeed all my videos, that I’m not an engineer or skilled tradesperson. I’m a lifelong tinkerer, making it all up as I go along. So please use your own judgement when considering adopting a solution shown in my (or any) YouTube videos. Click the image below to see episode15 on my YouTube channel. And while you’re there, click the Subscribe button so you don’t miss subsequent episodes.
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