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APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/18/21 5:22 p.m.

I've just mounted solar panels on the roof of my car trailer and I'm now having second thoughts about the way they're mounted.  My initial thought was that with no air gap in the front or rear of the panels that there wouldn't be any lift but now I'm second guessing that.  I'm also wondering if I need side skirts to avoid lift from cross winds.  I don't want to have the panels come off but I also don't want lift on the tongue, particularly under cross wind conditions.  What say ye?

RossD
RossD MegaDork
5/18/21 5:29 p.m.

Antidotal evidences leads me to believe 1/3 from the front for the flat of the trailer will be the least buffeted spot.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/18/21 5:58 p.m.
RossD said:

Antidotal evidences leads me to believe 1/3 from the front for the flat of the trailer will be the least buffeted spot.

Is that the first 1/3 of the trailer is the least buffeted or the area 1/3 of the way back? 

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/19/21 4:49 a.m.

The way you have them mounted should be fine. There is usually a separation at the front of the roof (referring to the front 1/3 noted above) that will provide some reasonably safe conditions. Cross-wind is not as much of an issue and you have a gap under the panels from left-right, so even smaller impact.

You may want to check the panels for dust/dirt collection after a trip to make sure you get maximum power production. If you did anything to change the aero, add a small wicker angled back toward the front edge. That would help divert any debris up/over the panels.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/20/21 4:32 p.m.
stafford1500 said:

The way you have them mounted should be fine. There is usually a separation at the front of the roof (referring to the front 1/3 noted above) that will provide some reasonably safe conditions. Cross-wind is not as much of an issue and you have a gap under the panels from left-right, so even smaller impact.

You may want to check the panels for dust/dirt collection after a trip to make sure you get maximum power production. If you did anything to change the aero, add a small wicker angled back toward the front edge. That would help divert any debris up/over the panels.

Thanks.  That's consistant with what I was origianall thinking but once I imagened the panels getting ripped off I really wanted a second opinion.

I used the trailer yesterday for a Formula  Ford test and the panels kept up with the interior lights, laptop and battery charger for the race car, stayed on the roof of the trailer both on the way out to the track and the way back and didn't effect the way the trailer pulled or make any noise that I could hear from inside the truck.  It also rained on the way back and none of the penatrations leaked.  All in all I'm quite pleased.

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