Monday, October 17, 2005

Solar Panels (photos)

Today I finally got to put the panels up...or rather down. The rack system I bought from Uni-rac, "the leaders in the industry," but it had some issues. The panels have legs to raise them to the requisite angle, but it's not really possible to install the panels on the raised rack. Here's why:

  • The panels themselves provide the third arm of the triangle. Without the panels in place there is no real frame. A catch-22. Can't install the panels on the floppy rack. Can't make the rack stiff without installing the panels.
  • The panels clamp from the top using special clips. The panels must be held in place to install the clamps.
  • The clamps between panels hold both panels and thus two panels must be done at one time.
After trying to do this at an angle, I gave up, layed the whole mess down and installed them easily in minutes.

A rack of solar.

Every time I turn around I find I need another specialty part. Most recently I opened up to find the panels have specialty, quick-connect electrical cable pre-wired. Quick if one has this kind of cable around. I don't. It's now on order.

The panels look diminutive because the electrical shed is 10' tall at
the face. The panels are 3' x 5' each and the two racks together is
about 30'. The panels weigh perhaps 30 lbs. each, so I'll need help
raising them.

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