Once the battery, charge controller, and solar panels are all installed, you will need to cover them up to protect them.
A clear cover over the battery and charge controller serve multiple purposes of holding down the components, protecting them from rain, and keeping little children's fingers out.
For the wires from the solar panels, simply route them down the solar rack, and zip-tie them in place.
I made the clear cover from some scrap plexiglass. The area to cover is about 2'x1', but it needs notches taken out to allow for where the front uprights connect to the frame. While I could have used a jigsaw or other basic cutting tool, I happened to be at the Milwaukee Makerspace
, where they have a laser cutter. Although a laser-cutter is NOT required, it is a tool that I'm learning, and I thought I would make use of it.
On the computer, I made a simple outline of my 2'x1' rectangle and added the notches that would allow for the solar rack. Once the laser is cut out the plexiglass, I laid it over the top of the battery and charge controller to see how high the plexiglass needed to be mounted. I then made spacers which were that length.
The spacers are simply scrap aluminum tube of a diameter that a bolt will slide right into. I cut two pieces of tube (with my trusty tubing cutter!) to about 4.5" long.
Next, long bolts go through a fender washer, the clear plastic cover, the aluminum spacer tube, a washer, the plastic body, another washer, and a nylock nut.
Once tightened-down, the cover holds and protects the battery and charge controller securely in place. Since it's clear, you can still see the voltage display on the solar charge controller.
In other safety for the project, you could also add pipe insulation to the edges of the solar panels. This is more to protect the head of the parent, as the panels are at about fore-head-wacking-height when leaned over to help the child steer, get in and out of the vehicle, etc.
I also zip-tied the rear "roll-bar" on the Jeep to the solar rack. This gives some cross-bracing and turns that bar into a great "grab-point" for the car. Since it is rear-wheel-drive, by lifting the back of the Jeep with that bar, you can STOP a child from driving forward, and you can also "re-aim" the car if the child needs to spin the vehicle around.