I love not having any electric bills:) Finally the day we have been waiting for. Time to get our new solar panels in the mounts and get hooked up. It's so nice to not have to worry about power outages.
So back to our story and back to the second week of April.
Today I spent the day working on the garden of rocks around the solar panel mounts and Mike did the drilling for the solar panels.
On a cute note...here are some updated cow and calf pictures:)
Our big girl "Red" and in the background our unsociable cow and her light colored calf:
Mama and her baby.
And the one with the white face, like a mask:
Mike and I took a ride down to our pond and got to see some of the fish. It's good to see the babies after the winter months.
Enough animals...now it's time to work.
We have a couple of bags of concrete left so Mike and I decided to use them up and fill up all of the holes.
Mike is spraying the bottom of a pole with the rubber paint for protection:
All the concrete is used:)
Next Mike works on leveling the 4x4's so I can start filling the gardens with rock:
Mike is pounding rebar into our 4x4's and into the ground the make the garden more solid:
Now I can start filling them with rock. First I put the weed cloth down, then I take the shovel and the 5 gallon buckets back to our rock pile. I use the hand truck to bring the full buckets of rock back to the garden:
While I do that, Mike works on drilling holes into the solar panel mounts. This is so we can install the solar panels. He needs to drill a total of 50 holes, ten holes in each rack:
Finally after thirty 5-gallon buckets I get the garden finished and we have no more rocks.
Mike is hosing them down to make it nice and clean:
It was a good day and it feels so nice to have nice weather.
More blue skies. It's time to paint.
We are going to paint all of the solar panels mounts green to match the building and while we are at it we will paint the side of the shipping container.
Laying out cardboard to protect the rocks:
Mike using his new paint spray gun:
All the solar panel mounts are done:
Once the mounts are done we start on the side of the building. We might as well while we have the chance. Once the new solar panels go up we won't be touching this side of the building ever again.
We start at the front top corner of the building. While I hold cardboard up to protect the driveway, Mike starts spraying. He also sprays my hands but at least the driveway isn't green, lol.
Almost done with the building:
The painting is done:)
We have to let everything dry before we can install the solar panels.
Today is the day we have been waiting for. It's time to get our new bigger solar panels on the new mounts that Mike designed:)
The solar panels are big so Mike and I will have to work together to get them on the racks. The first one is the hardest as we don;t have much land to stand on. I really hope we don't drop one.
The first one is in the rack:
And presto...eight of them are in. We work so fast, lol. Since Mike and I had to work hard to get them in I couldn't take pictures. You can see how much bigger these are compared to the old panels which are on top of the shipping container.
We also got the two panels installed that stand alone to catch a different angle of the sun. After all the panels are screwed in, Mike wants to clean up the ground. Here he is grading out underneath the panels:
Next I raked it all out and Mike starts seeding:
I put the hay over the seed and Mike waters it:
Now it's time for the really important part and since I can't do any electrical, Mike is on his own. Mike has to get all of the wires hooked up so we can make our own electric.
Mike installed two combiner boxes on the outside of the shipping container and under the solar panels. A combiner box takes all the wires from the solar panels, combines them into one, and then sends them to the charge controller inside the shipping container.
Mike has 5 panels going into each combiner box. Each solar panel has it's own circuit breaker.
Mike uses the torch to seal the shrink wrap over the connectors to make them weathertight.
Skip to April 16 as we had other work going on at the "store" property:)
Mike is getting getting ready to put the wire from the combiner boxes into the charge controller. This is a really thick wire and you need strength in your hands to do this kind of work:
Peeling back and clipping the strands that aren't needed:
Mike hooking up one of the charge controllers:
And the finishing touches:
Here are the circuit breakers onside the combiner box:
Our wire mess. Mike will clean this up soon:
Now we are set to go. Next I will help Mike take down our old panels and he will hook up our new system:)
I hope you all enjoyed this story and I will write again soon:)