PV module assembly at OVL!

May 19, 2007

Solar panel module assembly party at WMRC Owens Valley labs! A group of volunteers from the UCI Advanced Power and Energy Program visited WMRS on May 19 and assembled 69 136-watt panels (Uni-solar Laminate PVL series) into 12 EPDM modules. Assisted by Bishop local resident Andrew Cusack and WMRS Asso. Director John Smiley. Assembly followed guidelines for attaching Unisolar PV-136 modules to EPDM roofing membrane (Available from United Solar Ovonics: "Installation Manual for PVL on Membrane: a builiding integrated photocoltaic solution using TPO and EPDM membrane roofing systems.") The process worked perfectly, resulting in close-aligned parallel panels bonded permanently to the EPDM (see photos below).

Our intrepid volunteers...(L to R)...Andrew Cusack, Shane Stephens-Romero, Tom Pine, Pere Margalef, Patrick Couch, Jim Maclay, Matt Heling, Lucas White, Josh Eichman and John Smiley.

Jim Maclay scrubbing QuickPrime Plus LVOC primer on Ruybbergard EPDM sheet using abrasive pad. After drying (about 1/2hr) the panels are then laid over the primed area of the sheet in 6 parallel rows.Once the panels are in place, one end is glued down by peeling off 12" of the plastic backing, exposing the adhesive. This permanently bonds the end of the panel in position. 5-19-07

The remainder of the panel is then rolled up until the plastic backing can be grasped. Then, the panel is carefully unrolled, removing the plastic one bit at a time until the entire panel is glued down. In this way precise positioning is possible (to within a couple of millimeters) and the panels are permenantly bonded to the EPDM. 5-19-07

Cutting off the excess EPDM with scissors to make a single sheet 8' wide and 33' long with electrical capacity of approximately 800 watts. The completed assembly is then rolled up and ready for transport. Each weighs about 70 kilos or 160 lbs. 5-19-07

Approximately 10' of EPDM was left at each end to wrap over the north side of the curved Quonset roof, to be attached to tie-down cables. !2 inches of EPDM was left at the other end to serve the same purpose as the bottom end of the south side of the roof. 5-19-07

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