Solar Panel Installation [with photos]

The solar panels have arrived. And so have the installers. In fact, the solar panel installers have come and gone, leaving behind the almost-ready solar panels on their posts, ready to be hooked up to the grid.

Two days ago, I wrote about our solar base installation, and shared a photo essay of the work that the first crew did. Today, I will do the same thing with the second crew.

Rush hour in the vacant field.

This was a bigger crew with bigger machines. Never before had our humble little field hosted so many people – or any machines bigger than our lawn tractor.

Unloading the truck's burdens.

The crew had plenty to unload from the transport truck, using the boom truck, starting with the frames, one for each post.

Assembling the skeleton for the solar panels.

Across the frame are attached rows of metal beams. It is to these beams that the solar panels themselves will be attached.

Heavy load.

The solar panels themselves had to be unloaded from the truck. Although each panel is surprisingly light and easy to manipulate, a whole skid of them is not only awkward to lift and pretty heavy to carry. The exciting thing is that the solar panels even arrived. There was a shipping backlog that had threatened to delay installation, but the panels had arrived on time.

Solar panel from behind.

If you read even a little about solar panels, you will come across hundreds of photos of what the sun-ward surface looks like. This is what the back of the panel looks like (a somewhat unique view to offer readers of The Solar Ontario Blog).

Shiny new solar panels.

The solar panels were attached to the beams.

Filling in some details.

Before the frame with the panels attached could be hoisted into place, some equipment needed to be installed. The pipe inside the pole connection the panels to the external pipes had to be put in place.

That's one big hinge.

This is the hinge that allows the panels to move. You can see how it can swivel on the post, and also how it can tip to follow the height of the sun.

No, it's not a Klingon weapon.

This little item is not a weapon for a sci fi movie or a TV game show. It is in fact the arm that moves the solar panel rack to face the direction of the most solar radiation.

Coming in for a landing.

As the frame was being lowered onto the hinge, I had this spooky feeling like a UFO was landing on my property. That is how it felt.

The arm is in place.

As they position the final panels, you can see where the arm fits in.

Clean up time.

Nothing left but the sawdust and some glitter. It’s clean-up time, and the field will soon be deserted again – until the third crew arrives to hook up the electrical wiring.

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2 Responses to Solar Panel Installation [with photos]
  1. Jenni
    October 15, 2011 | 9:51 am

    I am curious as to the initial financial commitment required to start up a “solar farm”? How long do you think it will take to re-coop that initial investment?

    • amabaie
      November 10, 2011 | 8:49 am

      Depending on how fast we pay off the financing, 7-10 years.

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