Welding on mount

colderthancolderthan Registered Users Posts: 20
I have a manual solar tracker mount that I want to change the locking mechanism on. What precautions should I take, if any, before welding on the pole?

Paul

Comments

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 887 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Welding on mount

    I'd disconnect any wiring leading to inverters/charge controllers/etc . Make everything as inert as possible.

    If you're welding under or near panels rig a tarp or sheet to stop any welding spatter from landing on the back or front of the panels. It smarts when it lands on your skin so it could damage your panels...front of back.

    Ralph

    Oh yes, and put suncreen on your neck...I always get trouble from my wife when I show "sunburn'' the next day:blush:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,497 admin
    Re: Welding on mount

    Everything Ralph says--plus (assuming Arc Welding) put the ground on the component you are welding. Make sure you don't, for example, ground the post to the welder and strike an arc on the moving panel section. You can spot weld your pivot points (if real bearings, can ruin the bearings too) from the high return current flow.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • colderthancolderthan Registered Users Posts: 20
    Re: Welding on mount

    Thanks! That helps.

    Paul
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 887 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Welding on mount

    Ah Bill,
    Never thought of the grounding aspect. My ground lead is shorter than the electrode lead, so sometimes grounding had to be done wherever possible due to lead length.

    I'll keep that in mind now that I have utility power again and can weld...but only on weekends or after 9pm (off peak).

    Ralph
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Welding on mount

    Ralph,
    I would like to see a pix of your pole mount?
    I would also add that I would disconnect all the panel strings so there is "no way"
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 887 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Welding on mount

    Dave,
    My pole mount only holds 4x180 watt panels. It's an old General Dynamics satellite dish rig. Heavily built, but only 4 inch post. No my 10kw microFIT racking...that's another kettle of fish!

    Here's a link to see the project.

    http://www.greenpowertalk.org/showthread.php?t=11702

    microFIT is an Ontario program for people to generate 10kw or less and recieve 80.2 cents per kwhr. Needless to say, the response was overwhelming...the program has been gutted as of July 2. Check out some other threads in the Solar electricity section of the Greenpowertalk forum.

    Ralph
  • colderthancolderthan Registered Users Posts: 20
    Re: Welding on mount

    Here are a few pictures of my solar mount
    Attachment not found.
    For a swivel I just sleeved a 7" OD pipe over a 6" OD pipe.
    Drilled and tapped for a zirk fitting for grease.
    Attachment not found.
    Made a slide for locking mechanism and put 3 set screws around the pole to lock solid if needed.
    Attachment not found.
    I am at 65 deg. N lat. The panels wouldn't tilt far enough for winter tilt (80 deg.)
    so I cut and welded a 45 Deg to the top of the post.
    Attachment not found.
    This far north the sun doesn't really go over head, it goes around the horizon.
    24 hours of daylight this time of year. Being able to turn the panels has made a huge difference.

    Paul
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Welding on mount

    Nice! Thank-you guy's!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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