Monday, November 28, 2011

Solar Panel Update

I have 5 solar panels totaling 625 watts which work great in the summer but in the winter the sun is to low to get a full charge so you need to raise your panels to a 45 degree angle.
I have built a raised rack to elevate the panels to avoid shadows from the air conditioner and other

things on the roof so I put two 26" actuators with a 1000 pound lift to raise the panels and I have a 12 volt timer that is programable to raise and lower at dawn and dusk.

                    Another Solar Project

A friend of mine ask me if he could raise his panels with actuators. His is a flat mount on the roof not raised rack like mine so I did some thinking for a way to lift them. Not an easy chore to do as you have no room to put a lift under the panel with only 1 3/4"  above the roof to work with. I started with a 8" stroke actuator and angle and a single drawer silde.

I set this up on a sheet of plywood to try it out. It worked so we attempted to apply it his roof

I came up with using drawer slides and pushing and pulling the panel up and down. This worked but we found that it was to much strain on the single drawer slide so the slide had to be on edge instead of flat the way I had it set up. So I'm changing the setup to use two drawer slides and have them both on edge. So the tork is pushing down on them the way the drawer slides are made to be used.

We have completed the set up and it works great, very smooth, no strain on the actuator or 
the drawer slides.I added a video of Bud"s panel lift at I have added a video of Bud's panel install at


Ranney said...

That is a simple and well made auto tilt setup for your solar panels.
Thanks for sharing

Sondra said...

you are extremely clever...well done.

Red Meador said...

Good Job and thanks for posting on boondocking with solar, we could use more good stuff like this in the group

Fort Myers solar panels said...

The financial benefits of solar energy can be seen in reduced utility payments as you use solar energy for electricity, heating, cooling, and lighting. In addition, by reducing your homes operating costs you are also increasing the value of your home.

AnnMarie said...

This is a very good design. Thanks for sharing! Is the panel secure enough when traveling down the road? Was wondering if the top corners needed to be locked down?

Thanks Again,

Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

No they do not need to be locked down. The linkage holds them down.

Sylvia Jordan said...

Nice design you have there. I'm also planning to install a solar roofing system in my property this summer. I'll be using your design as a reference.

Angela Navejas said...

Nice Info! We all know better that the power has been here since the early 1900's. When it started, there wasn't much requirement for it, First of all, because many people didn't have it in their home and the only use for it was for light voltage bulbs.

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Kyle Devin said...

Panel Upgrade blog has helped me a lot to know better about solar energy and I hope this will be helpful in research too. The design is splendid.Panel Upgrade Phoenix