Installing Two Kyocera 135W Panels


These are two of the panels I had on the roof at my previous house.  We moved to this house in late 2011.  Only just now getting time to install these again.  In the past, they were bolted to the plywood sheeting of the roof.  This will be a more permanent installation, so I will install them on aluminum rails.  The rails will be bolted to the rafters.

I took the time to design the layout in a CAD program.  Very similar layout to the first four panels I've already installed.  They are rock solid, and easy to remove if necessary.  Since all my panels are wired separately, one panel can quickly be electrically isolated if it fails.



Plenty of room on the South facing roof for more panels.  I will try to mount these two directly above the existing ones.  The existing ones are 130W, the two new ones are 135W.  Slightly larger footprint.  Unfortunately, by the time I could afford these two, the 130W panels had been discontinued.  The 135W panels are also now discontinued.  Makes it tough to buy a couple at a time, and have them all look the same.

I ordered two 72" long piece of 3"x3"x3/16" aluminum angle from Amazon.  Each rail was cut to the 60" final dimension.  The 1' scrap piece was cut into 2" sections, which will be made into the mounting brackets.  This is FAR cheaper than buying a pre-made solar rail frame.

I have access to a metal cutting bandsaw, but have used my Sears tabletop bandsaw for this also.  You could use a jigsaw, or even a hacksaw.

The milling machine is awaiting parts, so couldn't use it this time.  To slot the holes, I drilled a hole on each end of the slot, and connected them with the scroll saw.

Here's a close-up of the two circles being connected.

The slots are for the 3.5"x3/8 stainless steel lag bolts that will attach the brackets to the roof rafters.  The smaller hole is for the 1/4" stainless bolt that will connect the bracket to the rail.  It will be match drilled, so no need to slot it.

The frames on these Kyocera 135W frames is different than on the slightly older 130W model.  There's no lip on the top and bottom rails of the panel.  No place to put a bolt through.

As a work around so I could use the Z-brackets from my previous install, I used a pieces of 1/8" aluminum, and bolted it to the side rails with 1/4-20 stainless hardware.

The weather has finally started cooling off enough to spend time on this project once again.  The Z-brackets were attached to plates, which bolted onto the back of each corner.

The L-brackets I made earlier were attached to the angled aluminum rails via 1/4-20 stainless hardware.

The panels were spaced about an inch apart, which is the space recommended by Kyocera.  Layout lines were put on the rails with a Sharpe marker, and later removed with a little alcohol.

A couple of different views.

The bottom rail will be match drilled once the panels are installed on the roof.  This allows the panels to be attached along the top rail, holding them in place, then the holes can be accurately drilled in the lower rail.

From here, you can see the plate on the bottom of the panels protruding out past the panel, the Z-bracket and L-bracket attachments.

Kyocera recommends about 5" of spacing under the panels for adequate air flow (cooling).  Because I live in hurricane prone FL, I didn't want to exceed this distance and have high winds get under them.

Once the layout lines were removed with alcohol, the rails were wiped down with SharkHide.  I've used this on other outdoor aluminum products with excellent results.  It dries very quickly, is clear, and prevents corrosion.  I live about 10 minutes from the ocean.

I made up a 10 gauge power cord for each panel.  These will be attached to the panels before the panels are placed on the roof.  The cables will be fed through conduit for UV protection, and into the attic via the Soladeck feed through.  They will then be cut to length inside the attic where they'll meet the terminal blocks.  I do not want any connections outside due to the possibility of corrosion.

By measuring over 24" from the mounting holes of the previous panels, I was able to hit the rafter.

The brackets I made earlier were fastened to the roof with 3/8" stainless lag bolts.  A generous amount of blackjack roofing tar (in a caulk tube) was put into the drilled hole, under the head of the bolt, and on top of the bolt.

With the brackets fastened to the roof, the lower rail was added, and attached with more 1/4-20 SS hardware.  To mount the upper rail, I had to lean against the steep roof while standing on the lower rail.

Both rails now installed.

The first panel was carried up the ladder, and placed on the rails.  This is a heavy panel, and an awkward task.  Would have been much better with a helper.

The second panel now installed.

The wiring was put in electrical conduit, and routed through the roof via the Soladeck interface.  Each panel is individually wired with 10 gauge wire.  If a panel is damaged, or fails, it can be electrically disconnected from inside the attic.  No terminations on the roof!

By applying a heavy load, I managed to get 29.5 Amps from the four 130W panels.  This was before 11AM, not at the peak of the day.

On the second ProStar 30M charge controller, the two 135W panels supplied 16.7 Amps.  All totaled, there's now 790W of panels on this roof.  I was able to get 46.2 Amps during this initial test.  I expect to get just over 50 Amps during the peak of the day.





Last updated 11/05/15    All rights reserved.