Progress on solar panel mounts

I am extremely happy with my new tractor. The other day I moved more dirt with it in a couple hours than I could have in several weeks with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Berming the north side of the earthbag home is well under way. Next I used the loader to flatten out the spot where the solar panels will be set up. Kind of odd actually that it needed doing at all. We live in a place so flat that on a clear morning, you can see the back of your head. Image

But there it was, a small area that the previous landowner had built up to place his fuel tanks on stands. There was also an old windmill there that had come down. Digging it out with the backhoe was fun and easy compared to the manual digging out of an old satellite dish. I frigging love this new tractor.

Tomorrow the concrete truck is coming to pour the blocks for the solar mounts. I built the forms using wood from pallets and some plywood that I keep reusing for various things.Inside the forms are some rebar cages I made and then welded to the vertical posts. Image

Putting the cross bar in place would have been impossible without the loader. It’s a fifteen foot length of 4.5″ diameter x .335″ wall steel at the top of 8 foot posts. All the pieces are hot dipped galvanized so everything should last a very long time.

There is still plenty of work to do before I can tell the power company to pack sand but we are making good progress. It’s going to feel really good to flip that breaker switch to turn the panels on.

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Midnite disco combiner box

 

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4 thoughts on “Progress on solar panel mounts”

  1. Good looking work. You’ll never regret good panel mounts.

    Don’t know if I need a tractor a big trailer so I can borrow my friend’s tractors.

  2. I have just done that myself, and you would think it would be easy to tell them to pound sand, but it wasnt quite so straight forward. The first call to epcor went like this.
    Me; I would like my power cut off please.
    Epcor; So you wont be living there anymore?
    Me; Oh no, I will be living here still.
    Epcor; So you are going with another provider.
    Me; No.
    Epcor; Pause……….pause……..so you will be without power?…………..
    Me; I will have lots of power.
    Epcor………………………………..
    Me; Stop billing me and just unhook the lines at the transformer on the pole, you can just drop the lines into my yard thanks.
    Epcor; We dont unhook lines, thats Fortis that does that. They will unhook the power if you terminate servive but you will still have to pay for transmition charges, rate rideres, administration charges and such.
    Me; I am not paying any such charges. Terminate my servive on the 14th and I am done with you, and I already have you unhooked in the yard. (I hang up so as not to blow a gasket)

    17th I call epcor; You have not been out to unhook me? your meter is still powered up?
    Epcor; checking……..checking……….Ok as per your request your billing with epcor was terminated on the 14, you are no longer a customer of ours, Fortis will now be billing you for having a line and if you want them to unhook you you need to call them……
    17, I call Fortis; Why havent you unhooked my line
    Fortis; checking…………..checking………We see you have terminated service and claimed to not be wanting power, but if we unhook you in the manner you want, you must ask for a “salvage”.otherwise you still have to pay line, distribution charges,etc
    Me; whats that? what does salvage mean?
    Fortis; That means we come in and remove all the poles, meters, and lines…..
    Me; like hell you will, these two poles and lines were put in in the eighties when you had to pay for the poles and lines up front….I have the reciept for them….You can have your meter and bugger off.
    Fortis; No thats not how it works, if you want no charges we must remove everything……(talking in the back ground) I have to put you on hold ……(i hold for 15 minutes then hang up)
    21st incoming call from Fortis; Sir, we want to confirm your request for a salvage…as this is a final step, and your last chance.
    Me; Yes I want you gone, I dont and wont pay any charges……
    Fortis: Ok;…..pause…….I see, well there wont be any charges we will just unhook you at the transformer, and pull the meter.
    Me; Yes thats what I want! so no more charges or pole pulling?
    Fortis; Correct

    Fortis:

  3. So they did come in, from the ground looking up at the transformer I can see that they cut the lines and i suspect to short to ever be reattached. When they pulled the meter they did not put in a cover plate so its exposed to the elements. ……have a cover plate handy when you do yours, and dont let them rip stuff out.

  4. Holy cow that’s a panel mount.

    Where I live (American Southwest desert) we use a lot of solar – and we have a lot of wind – but our mounts tend to be a mite more spindly than that. You certainly shouldn’t have any problem with shifting. Cool tractor, too.

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