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Old 09-01-2020, 06:35 PM   #1
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Van Conversion Solar Panel Wind Drag

Hi all. Iím converting a 2019 Ford Transit High Roof Extended into a full-time RV. Iíve installed some solar panels on a rack on the roof and Iím concerned about wind flow and resistance, specifically the panels creating a ďsailĒ and being blown off, as was as overall drag.

Any experienced or knowledge aerodynamic minds out there have some insight they can share or ideas for modifications such as a fiberglass wind shield?

Photos attached. Thank you.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:48 PM   #2
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Think you would need something like this.
https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...014027345.html
The pressure under the panel would be enormous and could destroy it. As you funnel air into a narrow gap the pressure increases.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:05 PM   #3
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Not all solar panels are mounted flush to a house roof, and can handle windstorms without a problem.

I don't see the panels adding more air drag than the rack itself does. Covering the front and side gaps of the rack will help with aero and reduce wind noise.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:55 PM   #4
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The van roof is like a venturi, with a large area reducing to a much smaller area as the cab front merges with the van roof. Looking at the picture I would imaging this could lead to a 50x increase in air pressure, Much of the air would bleed out the side of the gap but not it all. Windstorms seldom have sustained windspeeds of 60 - 70 mph unless it is a hurricane. Usually it is just gusts. And it is most unlikely that the wind would be driving right between the roof and the solar panel. When it does it ofter results in damaged panels.
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