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Easy to build, low cost, adjustable solar panel ground level mount (Read 6349 times)
electron
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Re: Easy to build, low cost, adjustable solar panel ground level mount
Reply #1 - Jul 1st, 2011 at 1:50am
 
Be aware that during the mid summer months you will lose about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of morning and afternoon sun (which is low output time anyway) with the fence mount concept because the fence will shade the panels from behind.

In my case this was a convenient place to put them and the afternoons were also shaded in winter anyway so the loss was minimal.
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electron
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Easy to build, low cost, adjustable solar panel ground level mount
Apr 14th, 2011 at 2:10pm
 
I have two short videos showing the concept I used.

You can use this concept to build mounts that work against an existing fence or stand alone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUDEGrCTHeE


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpF6_AGqWZ8

Parts are available at local hardware stores.

The conduit in the videos are 1 1/4". It seems to be OK and doesn't flex badly with 4 panels on it.

Since it's on dirt here, on the stand alone mounts, I didn't put anything except dirt to keep the bottom conduits from spreading apart, if you are going to move them a lot then you have to think about that and possibly add a superstrut bottom or something.

I used all conduit on my first stand alone one and used hose clamps for all the cross connections of conduit (I'm talking about the ones that aren't mounted to the fence). It works pretty good but adjusting it up and down is a little harder than doing it with the superstrut, so for a little $$ more you can have a nicer setup.

On the conduit, 1 3/4" or 1 1/4" will do, top and bottom across (remember I use strapping to hold the panels to the conduit) and superstrut for the winter/summer adjusters. If you have two people it will be easier to adjust, I had to go side to side and re-tighten each one as I went to keep from dropping the panels all at once. Much easier in winter to bring them up.

You also have to tie the wires up because they hang down towards the ground in summer position. Too far down and the rabbits will nibble on them! They might anyway, you may want to put up some chicken wire around the bottom to keep them out, just during the summer. I'm sure it wouldn't need much to hold it there so you don't have to make it permanent.

When they are down like this you need a longer squeegee  handle to clean them!

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