Once the water lines had been taken down and cut up into firewood for next year, the other big obstacle to excavations was my solar array and battery/electronics box. I was not a little leery of having heavy equipment tearing things up anywhere near my power station.
I anticipated this to be both a crisis, as well as an opportunity. I didn’t want to risk my whole solar array to the whims of gravity either. With Donna and Grandpa helping, we gingerly detached the main support pipe from the tree trunk it had been attached to, and relocated it on the other side of my pathway to a new trunk.
I also dismantled the battery bank, and then with much grunting and groaning, rocked and rolled the box over to the new location as well. With Donna’s help, I managed to level the box at the new location, and then reloaded the batteries – this time with good space between them, and no foam insulation. I don’t anticipate that they will need to suffer another winter. I plan on locating them in the crawlspace under the cabin, foam insulation as an option but not a requirement. As long as the crawlspace stays around the freezing mark, I don’t anticipate any real issues, aside from a reduction in overall capacity.
With only one or two sparks, I connected everything back together again, plugged in my panels, and voila! Power on the first try!
It was a good chance for me to clean out the box, spread out the batteries and do a bit of re-cabling. Now it is much easier to plug in other items, as well as charge the batteries from the generator if I ever have need to do that (now seemingly more unlikely for the remainder of the summer, but still, with a modified sine wave inverter, I do need to run the generator to power the washing machine).
It was a very windy day when I did this – the panels were really swaying. I decided that because we seemed to be charging up very consistently, I would tie down the panels semi-permanently facing south-south-west. Now we don’t have to constantly be checking to make sure they track the sun every day. I also have the added sense of security that they are soundly fastened and no longer able to swing due to a sudden gust of wind.
Let’s hope the next time I have to move these guys – it’s to their permanent home on our cabin!