Bohemian Biker Blog

Deltran Solar Charger – Installation Plans !!!

by on Jul.05, 2011, under Solar

We now have a stock of 5W, 10W, and 15W – Deltran Solar Chargers on hand !!!  I’ve opened one of the 5W Solar Chargers, and begun developing plans to install and test it out !!!

Right away, upon inspecting the panel, output lead, accessories, and instructions… I have thoughts, as well as plans…

1st – I recognize an opportunity for an enhanced mounting system.  2nd – I recognize an opportunity for an enhanced output system.  Both of these areas best left up to the installer/user’s specific circumstances.

My planned application is to install one (or more) of the Deltran Solar Chargers on the roof of a large backyard shed…both to charge my motorcycle’s battery, and to charge batteries from which I might draw power for lighting , ventilation, and maybe even an AM radio – after all, I am a devoted political talk show listener.

Having 1st hand experience installing roof-top solar panels, Ive been exposed to and have dealt with some of the challenges that can emerge.

I’ve learned that under-panel ventilation allows the photovoltaic cells to operate most effeciently.  As supplied, the 5W panel frame has 4 small diameter (1/8″ dia., or so) mounting holes – one at each corner of the frame… along with (4) 1-1/2″ screws.  So, my plan would involve integrating 1/2″ thick, 4″ square mounting blocks – one at each corner.   This will provide enough space for air flow, while at the same time limit under-panel access by squirrels, birds, etc.   Additionally, the blocks will result in a mounting system that minimizes the stresses on the plastic frame which may result if the plastic frame were to be secured directly across the uneven surface of roof shingles.  The material I have in mind for the 4″ mounting blocks would be something along the line of 4″ sections of 4″ Azek trim sometimes used in outdoor decks & porch construction.  Generous application of adhesive/sealant with a caulk gun when securing them each to the roof…with (4) screws…will help secure them andseal out moisture.  The solar panel frame will then be screwed to the (4) mounting blocks (these screws will actually extend through the 1/2″ block thickness, and into the roof slightly).

I’ve also learned through the years that critters likes squirrels and chipmunks…love to chew on cable insulation.  (I once rescued an abandoned domestic rabbit…whom within minutes chewed my office phone line in half…no good deed goes unpunished)  So, the 1/2″ clearance will preclude at least under-panel access.  As for their access to the output cable, I have the following ideas…  The output lead provided with the 5W unit is 60″ long with an SAE 2 Pin connector at the end.  Although I have not perused a hardware store for specifics… I’m thinking some sort of a mountable plastic “junction box” would be handy for housing the bundled 60″ length of lightweight output cord, as well as the coupling of it to a heavier weight (possible “jacketed” or even “armored”) ouput cable to be routed down into the shed.

I must add a Special Note of Caution here – I am Not a licensed electrician, and although I have had training and experience in electrical design and installation… I am not up to speed on the current Electrical Code, and especially the specific sections that cover un-inhabited sheds and outbuildings…let alone solar installations.   I should also note that the Electrical Code is no doubt undergoing ongoing revision to address the increasing use of solar generated electric.  It is incumbant upon anyone using or performing installation activities to research, digest, and heed ALL the requirments specified for their particular application…and in their particular municipality.   Upon this writing, I have those plans as well – not only is the safety of our family, and that of our neighbors, at risk… our property, and theirs, is potentially at risk too.  Therefore, there are insurance coverage issues here, no doubt.

So maybe this is a good place to begin discussing placement and orientation.   I say “begin”, because this can be a pretty deep subject if you delve into it very far.   The possibility of a “full scale” roof-top solar installation (on a house, for example) would involve a study of the orientation of dwelling’s roof sections to the sun, the pitch of the roof, trees that would potentially block the sun’s rays, etc.

The installation of a relatively “portable” solar panel (such as one of these Deltran Solar Chargers) gives us some latitude with respect to the above.  We might even be able to place, move, orient, or re-orient a shed for optimum sun exposure.

Anyway – the above are my thought and plans, thus far (as of 7-5-11)…trust they may change as an installation project unfolds…  I’ll either add to this blog post, or create a new one (depending on specific subject) in the future…

Contact Ray Bowers via call or text at 302-562-1706 or email at:  

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Solar Capitalist LLC is our sister company specializing in Portable Solar Chargers and related connectors, leads, and adapters !!!

Capitalize on the Sun’s Energy !


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