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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Panels Are Up!

I, Andrew, am delighted to report that all of the solar panels for phase two of our project are mounted!  At the moment, the crew is burying the conduit that will carry the power from the inverter (which will be mounted on one of the posts holding up the panels) to our building.  We are looking forward to finishing up the installation and being able to make some power!

Here you can see phase two:

And here you can see both phases one (closest) and two (in the background):

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Installation, continued...

Now that the posts are all in place for phase two of our solar array, we are ready for concrete!  The truck came yesterday, and the crew was busy pumping concrete, making sure that the posts stayed level as the concrete rushed into the holes.  After one truckload was poured, all but three post holes were filled, so we had another smaller load of concrete come down to the site today to fill the remaining holes.  With all of the posts now set in concrete, the crew is setting up the mounting hardware, and beginning to mount the panels!  We hope to have all the panels mounted by the end of the day tomorrow (Friday).  Then we can begin the work of wiring the panels to the inverter, and then into our electrical system.

The posts are set, leveled, and ready for panels!
The posts are secured in 8 feet of concrete.  These puppies aren't going anywhere...

The first panel of the second phase is mounted!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Installation for Dummies

This week, we've been taking advantage of the somewhat drier weather to install our antenna test load (also known as a "dummy load").  The real challenge is figuring out how to set up rigging to carefully pick up and balance the equipment while carrying it out to its designated place in the switch matrix.  After a relatively short period of trial and error, we were able to successfully balance the test load, pick it up, carry it up to the antenna field and drop it into place.

The next step was picking up the chiller and carefully setting it on the concrete footings we poured.

And there you have it!  Our test load and chiller are in their proper place. (The test load is under the tarp.) All that remains is hooking up the plumbing and the electrical/control wiring.

The Digging is Complete

Finally... the time has come when the contractor was able to get the auger to the site where we are putting the next set of solar panels.   Phase 2 underway!

It was still quite muddy, the auger got stuck once getting it to the post holes.  But eventually success.
And just in time.  About 10 minutes after the holes were completed the sky opened up and we had torrential rains for half an hour.   The thing to notice in these pictures is The Sky!

After the rain shower they were able to get all the posts in place.  Weather permitting the concrete will be poured Wednesday (tomorrow).