Author Topic: mounting cost twice what the panels cost :-(  (Read 415 times)


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mounting cost twice what the panels cost :-(
« on: December 24, 2016, 06:58:57 PM »
I currently have three towers carrying (4) panels per tower.  These mounts are very heavy duty and look like they would survive a 5* hurricane.  Problem is, these mounts are expensive to buy and install ..... roughly twice the price of the (4) solar panels they hold.  Plus, they are not tracking mounts.

What's the solution?

What about a solar tracking rail:

And how about, we adapt it to install damn quick?

So, this vaporware gives us a 2 axis expandable rail tracker that installs in the blink of an eye.  Thoughts, criticisms ..... ideas?
4 Star Solar power center w/4KW Magnum inverter, (2) Midnite Solar Classic 150,  3.5 KW PV [(eight) Solarworld 265W, (4) Solarword 345W],  S550 (24 volt) Rolls Surrette battery bank.


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Re: mounting cost twice what the panels cost :-(
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 10:11:29 AM »
i don't see that tracker as being all that much better due to the shading that one pv would impose on another. wider spacings between pvs would be needed to accommodate wider solar excursions. this is why many trackers move the mount as a whole as then pvs can be butted against one another if you wished.

i don't have much to say for the post mount as i don't know how rugged and reliable it would be, let alone how much it costs.


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Re: mounting cost twice what the panels cost :-(
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 10:12:44 AM »
Since you asked;

I would not trust that skrew tite system to support a flag pole, certainly NOT expensive glass modules. So much depends on the soil type I doubt it is going to be safe or long lasting.

I used DPW top pole mount racks on the farm on a 1500 watt 6 panel array.

I also used a modified sat dish mount, also on a pole to hold a smaller 800 watt mixed array.

Currently we have 7,700 watts (24 panels) on a Unirac ULA [Unirac Large Array] system:

Going from memory, the Unirack cost about 1/3 of the entire solar array all in and  is UL listed for ease of getting approval by whatever authority you have to satisfy, as well as rated for 90+MPH winds. It is set in 5 yards of concrete and ain't going nowhere! It is basically a kit and you supply the 2" galvanized pipe it uses for structure. The ULA took 3 guys 2 easy days to install including panels plus a bobcat with an auger for an hour to punch holes.

That tracking system looks kind of silly to me. Designed to impress investors. Way too big a footprint to be sensible, too many moving parts.

For 4 modules, I would grab a salvage sat dish mount, stick a pole in the ground by normal means, add some angle stock to attach modules to call it done. You can make it track, too.

Just cuz you asked.

« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 10:27:10 AM by TomW »
Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

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24 Trina 310 watt modules, SMA SunnyBoy 7.7 KW Grid Tie inverter.

I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies