GroundTrac 5-foot height limit

aj164aj164 Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭
I'm installing a ground-mount system, and I plan on using GroundTrac hardware from Professional Solar Products. The instructions say to use 1-1/2" pipe, and that no support post can be longer than 5' from ground level. If I do this (with a 30-deg angle array), the bottom of the array ends up less than 1' off of the ground. I would like to see it at least 2' at the lowest point, but that means violating the 5' post length.

I expect the problem is bending forces on the posts due to wind. So it seems if I increased the size of the taller posts to 2" (with a transition near the top back to 1-1/2"), this issue would be solved. Also, the soil here is very heavy clay, so it is unlikely that we're risking the footings moving on us.

Anyone have experience with ground mount? Thanks - AJB

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,291 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: GroundTrac 5-foot height limit

    Well, you could make the footing taller - keeping the post to 5' unspliced, but they reference to ground.
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: GroundTrac 5-foot height limit

    mike has an excellent idea going upward with the concrete, but you may need to widen the area for the base over that which would've normally been there for the concrete to better stabilize the increase in side forces from the wind.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: GroundTrac 5-foot height limit

    I don't know if the specs call for it, but you can FILL the pipe with concrete as you set it in the footing. A poured core with 1 1/2" galvanized pipe, with a strand of 1/2 re-bar in it would, IMHO make up for the additional foot. You could also extend your footing 1 foot using a ~12" diameter sono-tube. You could get real creative and do a tapering footing, or a wedding cake footing with different sized sono-tubes.

    Tony
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