Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Nice, Simple PV Panel Ground Mount

This is a nice simple, cheap, and durable way to ground mount PV panels.

The PV panels are mounted to commercially available aluminum rails made for easy mounting of PV panels.   There are two of these rails for each of the sets of 3 panels.  The rails are supplied by companies like IronRidge or Unirac.

The front end of the rails are supported by a 6 by 6 treated timber which runs the full width of the PV array (with one splice).  

The back of the rails that the PV panels are bolted to are supported by vertical aluminum legs, which are in turn supported by a 2nd 6 by 6 treated wood beam that runs along the full width at the back of the array.  The tilt of the panels is set by the length of the vertical legs.

  The two 6 by 6 timbers are in turn supported by concrete piers at about 8 ft intervals.

For the complete description of this mount and more pictures...

We viewed this PV mount at an open house for this very interesting  home by Oasis Hybrid Homes...
 Located in the Paradise Valley south of Livingston, MT --  one of the most beautiful valleys in MT.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Webmaster -- what does the software bring to the picture that NRELs free PVWatts does not?


  3. "The tilt of the panels is set by the length of the vertical legs."

    So the owner has to unbolt all the legs and replace them with shorter ones in order to change the tilt? Sounds like too much work, I bet the angle never gets changed if that is how the system works?

  4. Hi Roland,
    On this particular one, I don't think that the owner ever intended to change the tilt after the initial installation, but he set the initial tilt with the height of those vertical legs.

    On mine, I looked at the gain for changing tilt seasonally, and it did not seem worth the extra complexity on the initial, or the changes each season. But, there are commercial racks that allow for fairly easy adjustment of the leg length.


  5. changing the angle adds so little it is not worth it.


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