Appendix 2: Solar sensors mounting accessory installation guide
This accessory is optional but highly recommended for the solar sensors. With this accessory you will get a secure fastening while keeping the sensor as level as possible, always pointing up.
The accessory is composed of 2 main parts: A - Mounting bracket: it will be fastened to a pipe or mast with its u-bolt. B - Leveling plate: it holds the sensor and includes a bubble level.
Figure: Solar sensors mounting accessory
Mounting the system is very easy, just follow these steps:
1 - Attach the solar sensor to the leveling plate, in its central hole. Use the black nylon screw (every sensor comes with one, find it on its bottom) and a screwdriver.
2 - Fasten the leveling plate to the mounting bracket with the 3 long gray screws. Do not insert them too firmly, the final adjustment is done later.
3 - Decide if you want to mount the whole structure to a vertical or horizontal pipe or mast (its outer diameter can go from 3.3 to 5.3 cm). Depending on horizontal or vertical configuration, you will use the bottom or the side of the mounting bracket.
4 - Place the black plastic piece in contact with the pipe. Then use the u-bolt to grab the mounting bracket to the pipe. On both ends of the u-bolt, insert first the washers, then the lock washers and finally the nuts.
5 - Place the structure in the desired position and tighten the nuts firmly with a wrench.
Figure: Final look of the whole structure
6 - You may take advantage of the holes on the mounting bracket and the pipe to secure the cable of the sensor, avoiding its rotation. You can do that with some cable ties. To minimize azimuth error, the sensor should be mounted with the cable pointing toward true north in the northern hemisphere or true south in the southern hemisphere. Azimuth error is typically less than 1%, but it is easy to minimize by proper cable orientation.
7 - Once installed, use the long gray screws of the plate for fine adjustment of the level, making sure the bubble is inside the black circle. The wave spring will keep the leveling plate in place.
Note: the sensor should be mounted so that obstructions (pipe/mast, sensors, enclosures, leaves, walls, etc) do not shade the sensor.