PV installed on Solar Swing-Set

by Ben N on August 25, 2013

The solar panel is now up on the roof of the play-set!

That took a bit of work, as I can’t actually lift the panel by myself. And since I’m always working on my projects at odd times and as I can, it was getting a bit frustrating, not actually having the panel up there yet. The other day, I was working on the project, and called my brother to see if he was available. By chance, he was, and came over to help with the panel.

We set up two ladders on the south side of the play-set, and then lifted the panel straight-up. I think it may have actually been MORE difficult getting the panel onto this roof than a normal house or garage roof. On a regular roof, you can stand on it while handling the panel. In this case, the panel is bigger than the roof!

Before lifting the panel, I had already marked the center point on the roof (with a rafter under it) and had a hole drilled in the aluminum channel mounted to the PV. Once the panel was in place, I ran a lag bolt through the aluminum, into the roof. After that, it wasn’t going anywhere, but would could still nudge the panel rotation to make sure it was square and level.

On the right side of the panel, the roof is LOWER, by about 4.5 inches. Over there, I ripped a 2×6 down to the right thickness and bolted it to the support on the back of the PV panel. I then ran deck screws through the inside of the roof into the 2×6. The bottom left corner of the panel got  a lag bolt as well, leaving the top of the PV still to be mounted to the roof.

Since the panel extends PAST the peak of the roof, I chose to mount some brackets FLAT on the far side of the roof, and then run them into the supports, and  connect them all up with some four-inch cross-bolts.

I used the cut-off pieces of the aluminum channel I mounted the PV to. Those pieces were laid flat on the back roof at the middle and either end, and attached with deck screws. Unfortunately, there were no roof supports under any of the places, but running long screws all the way through the roof was a simple way to see where I would need to add supports.

Next, inside the club-house, I could look up and see the screws poking through. The roof supports are only 2×3’s. I had a few 2×4’s handy, so I rip-cut them down to match the thickness of the 2×3’s, and cut a 45 degree angle on both ends to go to the peak and the bottom of the roof. I backed-out the bracket screws, installed the new rafters, and then ran the screws back down. This time, the brackets had something solid.

Now, when I want to make sure that a load is really tied down properly in my truck, I just try to lift the truck by the load. That way, if the truck tries to come with it, I know it’s tied down right. So, I did the same thing with the solar panel. Once it was bolted down, I climbed the ladder, grabbed the panel, and tried shaking it. The panel was great – it didn’t budge at all. It couldn’t be bolted down better. On the other hand the entire clubhouse was pretty good at rocking in one direction.

I had noticed that there was cross-bracing built-in in the one direction, but NOT the other. Looks like I’d have to make some of my own, but that’s for the next episode in this story!

{ 2 trackbacks }

Solar Swing-Set - Page 2 - EcoRenovator
August 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm
Solar Powered Swing Set | EcoRenovator.org — EcoRenovator.org
September 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm

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