Solar Panel Fixings - "Z" Brackets

wildebus

Full Member
When fitting a rigid panel across the span of a convex roof (i.e. the centre is higher than the sides), you have to have the ends raised up in order for the middle of the panel to clear the middle of the roof. This means the plastic corner mounts typically will not work as they don't raise the ends enough.
To get round this issue of a raised centre, I use "Z" Brackets. I have them on all the panels on my LT and find they work very well generally on Panel Van Conversions where the roof is convex

There are a few versions of these brackets branded in different ways. I have tended to buy 'Renogy' ones as they are typically the best priced ones, but I don't think there is a lot of difference in them (note, some brackets are called "Z Brackets" but are a different pattern - I am talking about a very specific shaped bracket here).

This is the Renogy Z Bracket I am discussing here:

Renogy Z Brackets
by David, on Flickr
You get 4 brackets, 4 sets of bolts, washers, lock washers and nuts, and 8 self-trapping screws with plastic washers. Price varies between £7.50 and £12 depending on time and seller. I have always got mine from Amazon. The last ones I got were just a couple of days ago and were £8.20 (today they are £9.30 - the price of these fluctuates constantly)

This is what the bracket looks like and why I particularly like these

Renogy Z Brackets
by David, on Flickr
The part which has "RENOGY" stamped on it goes onto the roof; The part that has the long slot cutout is raised and is where the solar panel rests on and the nut & bolt goes through the slot into the holes that are already present in all rigid panels; and finally the vertical part has two raised props that the panel side goes against for positioning.
This design allows for a very consistent fixing for all panels and the raised part is usually enough to allow the middle of the panel to just clear the middle of the roof..

The flat part that mounts onto the roof is a good size that allows the load to be spread and is large enough to use for tape or adhesive if you prefer not to use the provided self-taping screws (I always recommend physical fastenings but the choice is there).

However, the Z Bracket adds an extra dimension as well....
The size of that plate lends itself to flexibility as well. For my LT, I drill an M8 Bolt sized hole to allow captive bolts running in roof tracks to go through the bracket

Renogy Z Brackets
by David, on Flickr

And then make extra holes in the frame of the solar panel to allow the bracket to be secure on the panel in a location suitable for the roor rail

Renogy Z Brackets
by David, on Flickr

And the panel with the bracket mounted on the roof

Renogy Z Brackets
by David, on Flickr
The Bracker is sitting on the roof rail so well supported. The captive bolt goes through the bracket and will be then bolted down and be completely secure. In this case, because the foot plate part is totally flat, I can stack them so I have two panels, each with their own Z bracket, but sharing the single captive bolt.

Long post to discuss a simple bracket, but thought it might be worth talking about as this bracket is very versatile.

There are a few listings on Amazon and also other on-line stores for these brackets. This is a link to the ones I pictured about - https://amzn.to/2W1ns31 (currently £9.25 at the time I posted the link - will be higher or lower this time next week!)
And a good photo showing what you get (I actually got 8 ring washers, not 4, as it happens and I think that is correct)
 

Millie Master

Full Member
The brackets I used came with the panel and were simple, heavy duty, right angle plates. By the way, I mounted/bolted the panel onto the roof prior to having 'Millie' spray foam lined.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Yup, loads of options. What I have posted allows a robust, repeatable installation with the minimum of work.
This is probably my favourite solar panel install though - http://www.wildebus.com/blog/products/stealth-solar-installation/
Pair of 200W panels that are invisible from the sides, no attachment whatsoever on the roof itself (so no holes drilled or messy adhesive applied) and can be taken off or put on in minutes.


Thing is with how you have fitted that ... how do you remove it if you need to take a panel off? looks awkward?
 
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wildebus

Full Member
Just a note Dave, your site flagged up security warnings in windows 10.
Yup, I just found that! The SSL Certificate has just expired a couple of days ago and the renewed one has not been applied correctly :( just been on "live chat" to the hosting company asking them to fix it pronto!
(PS. for anyone concerned, there is nothing to worry about continuing - I don't store anyones financial or personal info on the website).
 

Millie Master

Full Member
Yup, I just found that! The SSL Certificate has just expired a couple of days ago and the renewed one has not been applied correctly :( just been on "live chat" to the hosting company asking them to fix it pronto!
(PS. for anyone concerned, there is nothing to worry about continuing - I don't store anyones financial or personal info on the website).
I use a Windows 10 Lap-Top running Nortons and, just as the pm I sent you on FB said when I discovered the problem, the link off FB is insecure whereas doing the very same but using the other halfs 'I' pad there is no problem!

Phil
 

wildebus

Full Member
I use a Windows 10 Lap-Top running Nortons and, just as the pm I sent you on FB said when I discovered the problem, the link off FB is insecure whereas doing the very same but using the other halfs 'I' pad there is no problem!

Phil
Certificate should now be updated and site back to normal!
 

trevskoda

Full Member
windows has a secret package controled from M/S which turns all you so called norton and agv crap of so they can spy on you,bill gates wants to rule the world,switch to linux.
 

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