Phase 6, Another 130 Watt Kyocera Solar Panel Installation



I was really impressed with the quality and performance of the first Kyocera panel I purchased.  With the addition of this panel, my array now totals 355 Watts.  I still have a 45 Watt Harbor Freight kit in the garage waiting to be installed, which will bring the array to 400 Watts.  My goal for this Summer is to reach 500 Watts, so I'm getting close.  The installation was similar to the last one, but after receiving a number of questions, I've decided to include more detailed photos.

The array now produces over 15 Amps during the peak of the day.  And even though I now run my living room lights, outdoor lighting, security system, CCTV cameras, etc., exclusively from Alt-Power, the system recharges the battery bank before noon the next day.  Now time to take the bedroom lighting, and maybe the kitchen lights too, off the grid permanently.  After the other 45 Watts of panels are added, I'll take the bedroom TV off the grid as well.


The problem with shipping solar panels is the rough handling they receive during transport.  The cardboard box had foam and bubble wrap inside, but one of the corners still had a good ding.  Fortunately, Kyocera uses a heavy aluminum frame, so the damage was cosmetic.  The glass matrix was not damaged.

I took a file and took off the sharp edge.

This is a TM type panel, so it has a terminal box on the back vs. a plug.

A closer look at the terminal box, and channel frame on the back of the panel.

The upper hole was large enough for the 1/4" stainless hardware I planned on using, but the lower hole needed to be opened up a bit.  I used a Unibit rather than a standard drill bit.  If a drill bit is used, and it catches, it will pull the bit into the work, potentially punching a hole into the panel!  Unibits work differently, and don't pose this risk.

This Z-bracket is a simple mount.  It's primarily intended for mounting panels on RVs, but work well at my location.  My roof is South facing, and has a decent pitch.  I don't need to adjust the panels, only need to mount them flat.

1/4" stainless hardware.

A drip of Loctite 290 on the threads, done.  This wicks into the assembled hardware, and prevents is from backing out.  The hardware can be disassembled later, but won't come apart otherwise.


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Last updated 03/19/09    All rights reserved.