PV module installation at Barcroft!

June 23, 2007

Also see Solar panel module assembly at OVL

The WMEP team from UC Irvine came up in late June and spent two nights at Crooked Creek. On Saturday they joined WMRS associate director John Smiley for the purpose of installing the 12 solar panel/EPDM modules on the curved roof of the Pace Lab. The work was very challenging as the modules were heavy (about 250 lbs/120kg each) and large (33ft/10m long and 8ft/2.5mwide). It was necessary to tie the modules down immediately as there were gusts of wind that day.

PV modules being pulled over curved Pace Lab roof (above left) and being anchored at ends. The uni-solar quick connect cables are then run through small slits in the EPDM and are connected underneath the EPDM. Stain relief anchors are installed on each quick-connect wire.

Panel assemblies with six Uni-solar PVL-136 laminate panels glued to a single 8' x 33' EPDM sheet, unrolled on ground next to building.

2x4 douglas fir pieces are attached to EPDM using screws and 1" diameter washers, and rolled under. 6" long eyebolts are then inserted through 4" width of 2x4, for end fastening.

Using ropes attached to the eyebolts, the assemblies are pulled up over to[ of Pace lab roof and eyebolts are tied in place using rope (initially) and steel cable (ultimately).

The UCI APEP assembly team. Front (L to R) Jim Meacham, John Smiley. Back (L to R) Phil Pister, Patrick Couch, Scott Sameulsen, Jim Maclay.

Later in the summer, we discovered that the 16' long free portion of the EPDM (i.e. the part not glued to the solar panels) was flexible enough that the wind could make it flap, potentially causing damage. We fixed this problem by curtting off the free portion and installing new wooden clamps made of two pieces of 1x4. We then used steel cables attached to a 1" steel pipe running down the center line of the roof to anchor the ends. This anchoring system is now being tested over the winter.

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