Author Topic: Solar frame Construction  (Read 741 times)

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Offline eraser3000

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Solar frame Construction
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:21:25 pm »
I am trying to plan a solar installation for this summer.
I want to build all the parts and have everything ready so that when warm weather arrives I can jump right into it.

Here are a few snaps of the design.

I tried to design this so that no welding would be required in the field.

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I plan on using 6" W Beam for the horizontal support. And 10" W Beam for the verticals.

The panel frame is C channel and is 3" wide. 
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Panels I have available are
http://www.solarworld.de/fileadmin/downloads_new/produkt/sunmodule/datenblaetter/en/mono/mono_black_250_en.pdf
SW 250 mono black
Length 66"
Width 39.5"

Or  Kyocera KD325GX-LFB
https://www.kyocerasolar.com/dealers/product-center/manuals/Manual_KD315-330GX-LFB.pdf

Length 65.5"
Width 52"

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I don't think its worth only doing a frame with 2 panels high, but I think I'm right on the edge with wind loading numbers at three high.

I might be adding some angle iron from edge to edge in a V shape on the back.

Concrete is already in the ground and is being re purposed.  3 diameter 8 foot deep caissons.
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Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Also there is no secondary brace in the drawing as I am still trying to figure out how and where to add that in.

Eraser3000

Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 07:00:05 pm »
V angle maybe something like this.

With a rear attachment from base of 10" I beam to angle structure.
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Offline DJ

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 03:02:27 am »

Is this tracking/ rotating or just fixed?

Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 10:00:29 am »
Its fixed, but I was trying to make it adjustable.

In the winter I could use 75 degrees and it will help keep the snow off.

Offline rossw

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 02:02:47 pm »
I've been though this recently. My original "fixed, linear array" was very similar to your first drawing - a single axle, cross-arms and vertical supports. It works but the degree of flex along the panels did (and still does) concern me.

I recently made 2 (really 4) extra arrays, and re-thought it. Like you, I considered a triangular-section frame but it had too many down-sides with making the array tiltable. In the end, I made it out of structural 2" gal and fittings, some pics to follow:

I used readily available pipe "T" fittings to top my posts, and a length of pipe as a runner. I bored the middle round in the lathe, and will add either brass or HDMW or similar sheet inside as a "wear" surface.


The posts are set solidly into the ground. The tyres filled with concrete are to stop grass and weeds growing around the posts, and make it easier to buzz round it with the line trimmer. Here is setting out the posts all in the same line, and same height.


Checking they're all true and in line


What isn't obvious here is that this is actually two arrays end-to-end. The two halves can move independently.


The cross-members are Z-section, rolled, punched and cut at the positions I nominated, and surprisingly cheap. The pipe spacer is necessary for alignment, the reason will become obvious shortly. Long U-bolts are easy, strong, affordable and don't require welding.


With the cross-arms roughly in place, the long arms go on. (Also 100mm Z-section, rolled and punched and delivered ready to lift and bolt in place). The spacer gets the upper face of the Z section and the pipe "axle" at the same height.


While I don't really need to change the angles, I wasn't going to be happy unless I could. One actuator per array lets each array swing 50 degrees either side of horizontal, which is plenty for my site. By making the arrays completely symmetrical, the weight is evenly distributed either side of the axle, and minimal effort is required by the actuator to position them.



Putting the array horizontal (or near enough) made putting the panels on a simple, one-person task.



Cables were run in conduit which was then encased in pipe for mechanical protection, so I didn't have to dig very deep (this is my roof after all!)


Totally happy with the way they turned out, work great, did everything myself, unaided. I did end up doing a tiny bit of welding on-site - the reinforcing mesh for the concrete in the tyres, I welded to the posts. Overkill, perhaps, but they're not moving :)

Offline DJ

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 07:33:13 pm »

Brilliant setup!

Strong, relatively cheap and easy to come by components, simple and obviously would work really well.

Offline bj

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2018, 06:38:14 am »
   Really impressive.  Shows your usual attention to detail.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj

Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 11:05:53 am »
After more number crunching, I might just go with several of these.

All the flat metal can quickly be cnc plasma cut, and the panel frame can be cnc drilled.

So not to consume alot of labor.  These can also be easily set in the field with minimal field time and no field welding.

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Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2018, 11:26:13 am »
Rossw, your panel around mounts look like they will work decently.    Unfortunately in my case I am reusing an existing foundation, I have 5 concrete caissons already in the ground that were previously used for another purpose.

I definitely don't want to waste them so I am willing to put more effort into a support structure.


As an aside here is the  6- 345 watt panel single pole frame with 130Mph wind analysis.  Panels break first.
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Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 09:03:48 pm »
First one done.

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Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 09:09:07 pm »
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Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 09:15:10 pm »
Drilling the panel frames.

vimeo.com/260166384

Offline rossw

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 01:34:09 am »
That's a very..... solid looking bugger!
Shouldn't blow over in the first storm at least!

Offline eraser3000

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Re: Solar frame Construction
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2018, 08:24:35 pm »
Thanks, RossW,

Its been very stable and has survived some 70+ mph burst winds.

I have two more done now, just need to go install them when it quits raining and dries up.

eraser