Moving The Alt-Power Setup


In late 2011, we sold our last house, and bought one about 10 minutes away.  Larger/nicer place.  The downside is all the solar panels had to be removed, the holes in the shingles patched, then all the equipment hauled to the new house.  It's still a long way from being setup, but hopefully this is our last move.  When I install things this time, it'll be more permanent.  Unless I decide to upgrade pieces, or something fails, here it will stay.  This page will be ongoing for a while as I slowly make progress. 


The new place.


This is the old house.  Much of the equipment has already been removed from the plywood mounted on the wall.  It's time to move the batteries and bench.

Each battery is about 70 lbs.  I parked the truck as close as possible to reduce the effort.

The workbench that holds the batteries is made by "2 x 4 Basics".  Very heavy duty.  Each shelf rated at 1000 lb capacity.  Also stout enough that it can be transported assembled.

Each panel was electrically disconnected, then unbolted from the roof.

The black metal frames were HOT.  I used a shop towel to hold onto them.

The transition from the roof to the ladder, while holding the panel, is a little tricky.

Each hole in the shingle was filled with 100% silicone caulk.  No worries of it ever leaking.

Unlike a blackjack roofing caulk, the silicone won't dry and crack in the sun.

All the panels removed, all holes filled.  No real visible indication that there were ever any solar panels on the roof.  A little dirt had accumulated under the panels, and after the following rain shower, there wasn't even a shadow of where they were once mounted.


On the next trip, some of the solar panels were removed from the roof, and put into the back of the truck.  I put a flattened cardboard box between each panel to prevent damage during transport.

The panels were offloaded into the shed at the new place.  They will be cleaned, output checked, and pre-wired prior to installation.

Part of the criteria for the new house was a decent South facing portion of the roof.  There's plenty of room up there, and it doesn't face the road.  The downside is the roof is about a 45 degree pitch, making the installation of the panels a challenge.

The bench was put into the new garage, along the South wall.  The idea is to keep the wires from the solar panels to the batteries as short as possible.

The batteries were cleaned and topped up with distilled water.  I connected them to a common bus bar, then to an Iota 75A 3-stage battery charger.  This will keep the battery bank healthy while I'm reconnecting all the hardware.


I'm working on getting the new alt-power board built and mounted on the wall.  Once that's done, all the wiring and hardware installation will begin.  Then I can finally get the solar panels on the new roof, and start harvesting some of that free energy!




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Last updated 3/26/12    All rights reserved.