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Being close to the chimney, they had a bit of soot on them which I cleaned off as best I could. What remains is stained but is only on the back side of the panels, won't rub off and doesn't affect performance.
They are now assembled together in a more portable configuration for travel and to allow charging of the RV's battery when camping away from the grid. I did that by adding two hinges, two latches, tilting legs (to adjust panel's angle to face the sun) and a handle.
I also had to buy a different solar controller - the one I'd been using was too tall (3.25 inches) to allow the panels to close. The new one has a height of only 2 inches and the panels can close with no obstruction.
Here is a list of parts used:
- Two 100-watt Renogy monocrystalline panels
- Renogy Wanderer solar controller
- Tilt-able angled aluminum legs
- Two hinges from Lowes
- One carrying handle
I attached all the hardware with rivets rather than bolts since the aluminum frames of the panels have very little clearance in allowing a wrench to get to the underside. Rivets only require access to the top, making their use in this application easy and quick.
|One of the two hinges, Renogy Wanderer controller|
If you've ever considered using solar power, I highly recommend the Renogys.
After three Texas summers (which last 8 or 9 months), they still perform as new, producing 40 volts at 5 amps. The sunlight they've been exposed to is brutal by most people's standards, yet the panels could pass for "New" (as long as the soot-stained underside isn't judged!).
No delamination and no warping at all.
When folding up for carrying, the package is 45x20x3 inches (114x50x8 cm) and weighs 30 pounds (14 kg).