Home made pipe mounts

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bbbuddy
bbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
We already had two 6" 8 foot pipes, and two 10" 7 foot pipes, so we installed them all 3 feet deep, set in concrete with rebar "through and through". 3 yards of concrete for the 4 pipes.

We made several pipe mounts using scrap metal brackets we had laying around the "back forty".
One hole cut for swivel point, and an arc cut for the other bolt.

The arc is cut so the mounts are at 10 degrees at the flattest point, and 60 degrees (as per http://www.macslab.com/optsolar.html) at the most angled point. All we will need to do is loosen three 1/2 inch bolts, and tilt up for summer, down for winter.

These are mounted on the two 6 inch pipes. C-channel is welded and bolted onto the brackets. They still need a couple of feet on each end cut off.
Each pipe mount will hold 4 Dupont Apollo 100 watt panels...

We will need to buy the metal to make similar brackets for the 10 inch pipes, what we have laying around is too small...

We will be bolting Uni-struts to the c-channel to mount the panels on...

Opinions??

http://forum.solar-electric.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1568&stc=1&d=1294879779

http://forum.solar-electric.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1569&stc=1&d=1294879779
Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.

Comments

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts

    I would be very careful with your design with 1/2 inch bolts. They seem to be 1/2 the size that I see. A better question would be how many square feet of panels will they support along with the weight "aloft".

    One of the reasons that pole mounted arrays use the best panels available is to get the most watts per square foot. Thin films should really be ground mounted in my opinion to avoid the stress on a pole. Good Luck
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • bbbuddy
    bbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts
    I would be very careful with your design with 1/2 inch bolts. They seem to be 1/2 the size that I see. A better question would be how many square feet of panels will they support along with the weight "aloft".

    One of the reasons that pole mounted arrays use the best panels available is to get the most watts per square foot. Thin films should really be ground mounted in my opinion to avoid the stress on a pole. Good Luck

    4 panels per pipe, 67 square feet total per pipe.

    Odd, I've been reading about solar panel mounts for a long time, this is the first mention that "thin fim" panels should not be pipe mounted....

    So, you think we should use 1 inch bolts, not 1/2 inch????
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts

    I was just afraid you were going to do something crazy like put a 100 square feet
    up on a 6 inch pole with a 1/2 inch bolt. The Wattsun's I use do get near 125sq ft but the bolt is 1.25" with 1/2" steel. The goal is always the most watts per square foot on a pole unless your labor is free! Good Luck
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • bbbuddy
    bbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts
    I was just afraid you were going to do something crazy like put a 100 square feet
    up on a 6 inch pole with a 1/2 inch bolt. The Wattsun's I use do get near 125sq ft but the bolt is 1.25" with 1/2" steel. The goal is always the most watts per square foot on a pole unless your labor is free! Good Luck

    Most watts per pole is NOT our goal.

    We have 40 acres.
    We have 4 poles.
    We plan on 16 panels eventually, 4 per pole.
    We don't care to track the sun, just change the tilt twice a year.
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts

    Cool! I have 4 of the panels you have that I used for hi voltage testing. It was a cheap way to get 300vdc. I would still be very careful with your design. They are heavy and it is still quite a bit of enegineering to get that many square feet to safely last over time. If I were you I would design them to not only have a tilt but to be manually adjustable for track or azimuth. You may find later on that it is the ticket! Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • bbbuddy
    bbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts
    Cool! I have 4 of the panels you have that I used for hi voltage testing. It was a cheap way to get 300vdc. I would still be very careful with your design. They are heavy and it is still quite a bit of enegineering to get that many square feet to safely last over time. If I were you I would design them to not only have a tilt but to be manually adjustable for track or azimuth. You may find later on that it is the ticket! Good Luck!

    Thanks Dave, but at this point in time I see investment in tracking as far more expensive than just buying more panels...at $1.20 per watt...

    will post more pictures after they are mounted.
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,781 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Home made pipe mounts
    bbbuddy wrote: »
    Thanks Dave, but at this point in time I see investment in tracking as far more expensive than just buying more panels...at $1.20 per watt...

    will post more pictures after they are mounted.

    My real point is things change over time! Life is change, all that stuff. I felt the same way nearly 20 years ago when I went off grid.

    It is not so much to have all the power in one place as much as it is to get the dawn to dusk power. In a climate like yours it can mean running evaporative cooling from dawn to dusk. It could also be a water pumping scheme or some other strategy. Just charging batteries is so 1992! I do really have a soft spot for Arizona! Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • bbbuddy
    bbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭✭
    Options
    Re: Home made pipe mounts
    My real point is things change over time! Life is change, all that stuff. I felt the same way nearly 20 years ago when I went off grid.

    It is not so much to have all the power in one place as much as it is to get the dawn to dusk power. In a climate like yours it can mean running evaporative cooling from dawn to dusk. It could also be a water pumping scheme or some other strategy. Just charging batteries is so 1992! I do really have a soft spot for Arizona! Good Luck!

    lol, I gotcha!
    Fortunately we live a mile high, so our need for cooling is pretty much zero. A shady tree and a glass of iced tea does nicely! Sometimes high tech is not needed to solve a "problem"!
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.