The Photovolatic System Installation
In late 2005, we realized that if I was ever going to install a PV system, I needed to start. The starting point was contact with Renovus Energy. Art Weaver visited in January, developed a design and proposal.
The system we settled on has two mast mounted arrays of 12 Kyocera KC157GT panels connected to Fronious IG2000 grid inter-tie inverters. Each array is about 12 by 13 feet. This should provide about two thirds of our annual electrical usage. (9/2007 update- we produced 67% of our electricity over the past year, in April 2008, we produced 128% of our months electricity) I signed the proposal wrote a check at the end of March.
Materials started trickling in, but in mid May, the panels and mounting hardware were delivered. Now the pressure was on to install the things. So, I rented a tiny excavator (compare this to the one that I used to dig the barn foundation) and dug the holes for the array bases.
Then slipped in a piece of three foot diameter pipe to act as a form.
The actual masts were then set in the holes.
Here is a shot looking at the water in the bottom of the seven foot deep hole.
On a very muggy morning, I poured a little over two yards of concrete in each of the bases.
Fortunately, the concrete supplier was able to deliver concrete on very short notice and their new all-wheel drive trucks were able drive right up to the holes. I did end up with some pretty impressive ruts in the new front lawn, but that was a small price to pay for the convenience.
While the concrete was curing, I installed a handhole and ran conduit to the house.
After I backfilled the conduit trench and regraded the site, it was time to install the gimbles and the frames for the arrays. Here, one is complete and I'm getting ready to assemble the second.
Once the concrete had cured for a few weeks, I started installing panels. Here is the first array all bolted together and tilted up so that I can work on the electical connections.