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Solar panel in the luggage rack
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's some details regarding the Renogy 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.4 panel in the Westfalia luggage cargo area.
My goal is that it's below-grade, hidden.
Fwd blocks 1.75" high would level the panel.
The plan is to store an extension cable and campsite-leveling blocks underneath.
There's more hollow space up / under the panel.

crazyvwvanman has a similar pic, except showing 2 panels stacked in the cargo area on other thread: Solar Panel Mounting Without Drilling?
See pic---->https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/1925928.jpg

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was hoping to use 24v and put 2x 50W panels in the luggage area, but the wooden dummy proved that 2x50w won't fit in there. (23.7 x 19.6 x 1.2).
You can see that the 23.7 extends one inch past the center cargo footman's loop.
With a 19.6 dimension, it's 22.7 inches to the center.

I've been looking at panel dimensions until my eyes started to bleed.
Need appx 22.7 x 19.6 x 1.2 for the 2x 50w scheme.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I'm still scratchin' away at the panel mount.
It's getting better.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Have a setup now that clips into the cargo loops.
Four spring-pins hold it in place.
It works, but four pins is more than I want to fuss with.
I have a better idea but the Aluminum store is closed 'til Monday.

Gas struts are arranged for hold-down force, but if you lift it past 30° then it pops up to about 60°
I haven't figured out how to limit the angle, 30-40° is a good angle for the Northern states.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The stand works well on the ground too.
If someone tripped over it I suppose it could get pretty mangled.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I need a way to get the wire from the cargo area down to below the sink.
I'll drill a hole in the rooftop below the cargo area - into the headliner.

Does anyone know if a wire can go from the headliner down thru the "__" pillar?
I think I recall that path is very well blocked.
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
...I haven't figured out how to limit the angle, 30-40° is a good angle for the Northern states...

A piece of cord -or- small gauge chain of the correct length would do it...

- Dave
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:


I need a way to get the wire from the cargo area down to below the sink.
I'll drill a hole in the rooftop below the cargo area - into the headliner.

Does anyone know if a wire can go from the headliner down thru the "__" pillar?
I think I recall that path is very well blocked.


Cool to see the ideas. Was thinking about some kind of hinged affair up there and/or using the luggage rack securing points.

Not sure if these images will help but here's a couple from my '81 during some wiring work.

passenger side at top of pillar. You can see how I fished wire along top of the structural piece.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


driver side of same. OE Westfalia wires pass above that structural piece. I'd guess that theres room behind it to pass, fish, wire down. Access fished wire at vent hole in pillar?

edit: I fished wire down pillar to install a slider door switch. So, I'd assume one could fish a wire down that pillar on driver side.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
Sodo wrote:
...I haven't figured out how to limit the angle, 30-40° is a good angle for the Northern states...

A piece of cord -or- small gauge chain of the correct length would do it...

- Dave


String/webbing is simple. I like that.
Maybe a simple plastic pushbutton cord adjuster like bungee adjuster on the hoodie of a raincoat.
As is.... near the 'neutral' point ~ 30°, a string or webbing would let it fall flat.
I was thinking hold-down pressure was useful but maybe gravity is good enough.
If I change the strut geometry to have up-pressure at 30° it would be tight against the string.

Thanks for the pics Neil!
I sure hope there's a passageway for a wire.
With Solar you use pretty big wires and you also want the shortest wire possible.
On the kitchen side I suppose the 'spice rack' shelf has to come off.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

Thanks for the pics Neil!
I sure hope there's a passageway for a wire.
With Solar you use pretty big wires and you also want the shortest wire possible.
On the kitchen side I suppose the 'spice rack' shelf has to come off.


You're welcome Sodo.

As a WAG, if one chose to run, say, #12 wires off the panel, there should be room at forward, rearward openings at that structural sort of "Y" piece for those wires. But.... you'd likely be sneaking them past the OE wires so hard so say for sure.

I didn't remove the spice rack on my '81 to access area above that "Y" piece (i.e. the forward, rearward access points for OE wires) but I did lower part of the head liner and did peel back cover above spice rack. IIRC, on that '81, there is no fabric covering that pillar. Also the spice rack is different. They changed to the more shallow spice rack in '85 ?

Neil.

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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I'm digging around in that area now.
Spice shelf off, headliner down.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's a pic of the route I'd like.
It sure looks blocked from the courtesy light. But maybe a long drill from the going rearward from courtesy light?
I don't really like that idea cuz I can't get in there to silicone the wire where it goes thru the new/sharp drilled hole.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I put a headlamp in there. No light detected from headliner area.
I’ll look again tonight when its real dark.
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shizzon
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure you can get a wire through that drivers side B pillar. I believe I did that on my old van.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

That’s great news.
If someone with an endoscope could take a peek at whats up there... that would be great!!
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0cean
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:12 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

Yes you can. If you get under the reinforcment for the b frame its a straight shot down.
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

I made a how-to thread for the wire-route that I found today.
It's for a Westfalia.

New hopefully searchable title (?) thread called: Hidden wire to Westy fwd cargo area via driver pillar
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

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Here's a pic of the current setup.
It engages the cargo loops and gas struts hold it up like a trunk-lid.
It's held down by gravity, but probably needs a (locking?) latch.
The engagement is spring-loaded to the cargo loops, and clamped.
It's sort of a "quick-release" and the supports set on the ground, tipping it towards the sun in the same way.

I'll add some kind of 'angle adjust', maybe with webbing.

There is an "SAE connector" bulkhead terminal.

I will store a coil of extension cable there, perhaps other things too.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
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vanis13
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

like!
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar panel in the luggage rack Reply with quote

5 kits of the mounts are done, $240 See classifieds.

Fabricator put in the effort to setup for making more I suppose he'd get on it But here's the first 5.

See all details in classifieds.
Gas struts not included.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2384238
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....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
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