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Simple Ground Mount Solar Panel Racking Kit
If you’ve looked at solar energy in the last few years but rejected it because of complicated hookups and mounting requirements, this new adjustable, ground mount racking kit might be the answer.
  The kit, developed by Dave Sand of Avon, Minn., is designed to install self-contained multiple pods of solar panels set up in series. It includes a galvanized steel A-frame stand that bolts together to support the panels, and rectangular rock-filled bases made from expanded steel mesh. Each stand is anchored by 2 bases, which measure 2 ft. wide, 8 ft. long, and 1 ft. high.
  “The kit includes everything you need except for the solar panels and electrical wiring, including micro inverters. The customer supplies the rocks,” says Sand. He sells the kit only to installers, who mount 10, 12, or 14 panels on each stand.
  Sand says the kit provides an inexpensive way to anchor the frame that supports panels. “With a standard ground mount, several poles are placed in the ground and a racking system is installed on top to hold the panels. You first dig several holes that are a few feet deep, then set the poles in and fill them with concrete. The structure creates the foundation for holding the panels.
  “My kit is much more customer friendly because there’s no need to dig holes.”    The stand comes with a hand-cranked ratchet that’s used to adjust the panel angle seasonally, which is a big advantage, says Sand. “With a standard ground mount the panels are fixed, meaning the tilt angle and direction are permanent. There’s no adjustability, which isn’t ideal for areas that get a lot of snow. Electric-operated solar racking systems are available, but their motorized systems are designed to tilt the panels both daily and seasonally which adds to the cost. Also, there are more components to go wrong.
  “My system is mechanically adjusted. The panels can be adjusted anywhere from a 60 to 10-degree angle, depending on the angle of the sun. Tilting the panels at a 60-degree angle during winter allows snow to slide off much faster.”
  Sand, an electrician by trade, has a big solar panel setup on his small acreage. “I set up my solar panel system in 2009, and neighbors later asked me to help them with their solar projects. That’s when I got the idea to build a kit.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dave Sand, 11080 Lynn Rd., Avon, Minn. 56310 (ph 320 237-6189; the3sands@yahoo.com).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3