to simplify 2.0    notes from the open road

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Solar Progress

The new super-streamlined flexible solar array is now in:


The view from the ground is what really does it for me though:


Lean and mean.

I still have another 90 watt panel which I had planned to mount on the forward slanted section of the roof, but I'm now on the fence about it since that panel would be much more visible than the others. I'm waiting for a couple of MC4 extension cables to arrive before I can proceed with that anyway, so I'll use the opportunity over the next few days to assess whether or not the above 240 watts might be all I need.

More details on the installation: UV-resistant zip ties are keeping the cables nice and tidy (though there's still a bit to do on that front), and 3M Dual Lock is securing all panels along with my homemade combiner to the roof. Dual Lock really seems like the best of both worlds for this application – an impressively solid all-weather fastener that's still easily removable. Because the long term durability of these flexible panels remains an unknown, it's comforting to know that I can easily take them down should warranty replacement ever be necessary. Unless the highway takes them down first, that is. Time will tell.

I'm still sorting out how the two combined MC4 cables will snake down into the van where the charge controller sits, but a plan is afoot. Stay tuned for that little bit of trickery.