Hi guys, looking for some help/ideas with my new solar set up. I apologize if this is common knowledge but it sure threw a wrench into my plan.
I just installed two 100watt Flexible Renogy panels to the roof with lots of 3m vhb tape. Everything works great and the two panels are wired in parallel to my goalzero battery. See the picture for how they are laid out on the roof of the GFC. My initial thought was that I could keep surfboards stacked on the driver side of my camper and only lose half the solar input when its there. It turns out that if theres even just partial shade on the solar panel that it shuts down the panels input completely. In my case a surfboard going across 1/3rd of both shuts down both panels to nothing. A big bummer since I pretty much keep half of the roof covered most all the time. Take that as a warning for those of you who thought you could mount items to the roof while still getting some solar at the same time. Now It looks as though I will have to rip off the vhb tape and move the panels in a way that one is always not covered. The panels are also very limited with the parallel connection and the short cords still reaching each other will severely limit positions I can place them in. I am now thinking of having them side by side long ways (if you rotated 90deg of how they are now) - Or have them both on the passenger side (but the combination of the two would hang off the roof so I’d have to overlap them on the ends. I have to measure to see how much play they have there.
Now I understand that for either of the two panels to work they must not be covered at any point. It will be okay if I cover one with a surfboard, because the other will still work as needed. Only one thing gets in the way of me being able to do that and its the shadow from the beef racks. Ive gone ahead and tested laying a beef rack across both panels as if the panels were rotated how I am thinking of doing them (like in the second picture) From what I can tell watching the battery input is even the partial shade from the beef rack is enough to cause problems. I got to about a 3rd less to half the input when the single beef rack’s shadow covered both. I did not test whether this was turning off one of the panels completely but think it just significantly lowered the input coming from both. I also noticed depending on what part of the panel was covered by the beef rack made more or less of an impact on the input. For example where you see it in the picture was about 1/3rd to half, but if I covered the cells closest to the wiring I lost more like 75%-90% to all the input. These tests were quick and rapid and could have been slightly compromised as clouds occasionally went by.