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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I got started on my solar project. I had to figure out a way to mount the panels so they could be retracted
from the outside weather,, (can get nasty here) and this is what I came up with so far.
A little ******* engineering they will swing out past horizontal and swing back in under the porch during a bad hail storm or heavy snow. I'll post some more pictures as I get more stuff done.



 

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That is a great idea. Nice solution.

How will you secure them against wind? Eyebolts and latches?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure how I'm going to secure them yet. They will swing all the way back under the roof to the rafters.
I will probably dig around in my junk shed and see what I can find.
I still haven't really figured out how I'm going to keep them pushed out to meet the sunlight.
sort of shooting from the hip as I go on this project
But keep the suggestions coming,,,,,,,,,,Are you talking eye bolts and latches like for keeping a door locked?
 

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That's an excellent idea to be able to swing the panels all the way back to the rafters. That'll keep them out of harm's way very well.

Are these panels installed on a southern exposure? Could you possibly install support "legs" from the banister, on an angle, up to the bottom of the panel mounting boards. It's hard to put into words without a sketch but I have several beer can solar collectors that are used for heating the greenhouse and for a solar food dehydrator. I use 6 different length "legs" throughout the year to keep up with the sun's angles. At one time I had 12 different length "legs" (one for each month) but I found that two-month intervals worked just as well. You could build telescopic adjustable "legs" that hinge down and out of the way. See sketch.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
That's an excellent idea to be able to swing the panels all the way back to the rafters. That'll keep them out of harm's way very well.

Are these panels installed on a southern exposure? Could you possibly install support "legs" from the banister, on an angle, up to the bottom of the panel mounting boards. It's hard to put into words without a sketch but I have several beer can solar collectors that are used for heating the greenhouse and for a solar food dehydrator. I use 6 different length "legs" throughout the year to keep up with the sun's angles. At one time I had 12 different length "legs" (one for each month) but I found that two-month intervals worked just as well. You could build telescopic adjustable "legs" that hinge down and out of the way. See sketch.

Yea,, That's a good idea I need to see what is available at the local scrap pile

Simple and efficient answer you must be part hillbilly
I will post pictures on this post tomorrow what I find to build the "adjustable legs" Thanks

I'm in West Virginia or as they say here "West by God Virginia"
 

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Do you plan on protecting them from an EMP? They are basically big diodes and will not survive without protection.
 

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Hey over there in "West By God".

EMP = Extra Mean People

Actually it means Electro Magnetic Pulse. Just Google it. Very interesting, devastating to electronics, and very powerful.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is what I found to work with today. A bent ladder, Busted lawn chair, Three Aluminum poles and some 2x2 treated wood
The poles were retractable (made it nice) and the ladder and lawn chair made some dandy brackets.
Dr Prepper's idea became a reality today. I'm planing a trip into town on Thursday and I'm going to pick up some
stainless steel bolts and washers.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
This is what I found to work with today. A bent ladder, Busted lawn chair, Three Aluminum poles and some 2x2 treated wood
The poles were retractable (made it nice) and the ladder and lawn chair made some dandy brackets.
Dr Prepper's idea became a reality today. I'm planing a trip into town on Thursday and I'm going to pick up some
stainless steel bolts and washers.



I'm going to use trailer safety lock pin on the bottom instead of blots to make it easy and quick to unhook.
I also found some broom holders that are missing the mounting brackets I'm going to see if can use them to hold the
poles in place when the panels are folded in the up position.



The retractable poles made it nice. One of the buttons didn't work the spring steel that holds the button
out was broken I replaced it with a piece of spring steel out of a lawn mower recoil pull start.
works great now.



I don't plan on getting much done tomorrow as it's a two hour drive to town and I have got to pick up
some other supplies living here you need a junk shed it's to far to get parts to fix anything
someone once told me that "necessity is the mother of invention"

I will look and see if they have any hook latches like the ones "Verteidiger" suggested
Thank You Dr Prepper
 

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You should set up the angle as close to pointing directly at the sun as possible. If you are off by more than 20 degrees you get losses that add up fast.
 

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This is so cool! I've never been to good with electrical stuff.. But i've always loved the idea of being self reliant

Three in total? How much does that cut down your costs?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I'm not tied into the grid this system is independent. I'm setting it up for when the electric goes off.
But it may cut it some if I use the lights that are tied to the system.
I'm going to be doing the wiring soon as I get this part done. I picked up what I need to finish this part
(I hope) I have never done any solar wiring before -- this is all new to me
I am going to be using 4 batteries that rated at 114 hrs @ 1 amp I hope that's a good battery for what I'm doing
 

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Good old fashioned American ingenuity. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In the last picture you can tell the angle of the sun by the shadows on the deck post. This was taken about noon.
So in this picture the panels are set to high. But I'm thinking by the middle of summer that's going to change.
This part is almost done. Soon I am going to start a new thread on the rest of the system showing how to do the
wiring and how to hook everything up and also a little about solar controllers batteries and whatever else I run into
on the way. I'm hoping for suggestions and tips along the way. And I hope it will help anyone that is thinking about
setting up some solar panels but have never done it before and don't know much about it. (like me) - You can study
and read all you want (GOOD IDEA I DID) but there is no learning experience like doing it.
 

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You are a very talented person! This looks like an awesome idea, and budget too! I am trying to get hubby interested in doing some of this. We are on a budget and this actually looks do-able for us. I have mostly set up to live without electricity, (because we lack the talent to do this ourselves and the budget to have some one do it for us), but it would be nice to be able to power an appliance or two now and then. Hubby finally agreed to actually prep, so in the last two weeks, we blew our budget on stuff we really needed, but I would really like to look at solar or wind, just to make life more comfortable than 'camping in a house with rudimentary farming potential' which is where we are at.
 
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