Manual Tracker and Mounts for PVs

Side view Reflectors

1 1/2" x 1" x 0.083' rectangular tubing

1 1/2" x 1" x 0.083' rectangular tubing

3/4" NC bolt/nut (seasonal pivot point)

3 V2" steel pipe, Schedule 40

3/8" bolt with handle welded to top, acts as a setscrew

3" steel pipe, Schedule 40 V4" x 1" steel reinforcements (4 per panel) Back View

3/4" NC bolt/nut (seasonal pivot point)

3 V2" steel pipe, Schedule 40

3/8" bolt with handle welded to top, acts as a setscrew

PV panel

Reflectors

1" x 1" x 0.072" wal square tubing

L Angle iron reinforced_

3/4" NC bolt/nut

-1 1/2" x 1" x 0.083" wall rectangular tubing

I chose to use reflectors for a few reasons. Ambient air temperatures at my 3700 foot elevation here in the Northern Sierras are far lower than those found on the Carrizo Desert. Also, my reflectors do not raise panel temperatures as much as commercially available ones would. Another factor is that the times when it is hot around these parts, my power needs are the lowest; my tracking system allows a very easy way to turn the array out of direct sun. And dang it, I just wanted to try it!!

What Are We Doing Here?

There is one more thing noteworthy about the system: Economics. I did not install this system (or the one at the house) because the economics were practical or because

Cost of the power system for Bill's shop

Equipment

cost

%

4 Kyocera 51 Watt PV panels

$1,200

50.7%

Trace 2024 inverter (used)

$550

23.3%

8 220 A-hr 6 V deep cycle battery cells*

$160

6.8%

Romex, outlets, fixtures, junction boxes

$150

6.3%

wire, meters, battery box etc

$130

5.5%

Trace C-30A charge controller

$95

4.0%

PV panel support & reflectors

$80

3.4%

'Represents used battery prices

$2,365

it was cheaper than doing something else. My motivation for using photovoltaics in my life is to walk lighter on my path and to take less along the way. I could afford them, so I did afford them. For a look at the financial part of this picture, see chart above. Onward!

Back to work

I'm an addict. I simply cannot get enough PVs to satisfy my habit — dreaming. If I could afford it, I'd give samples to all the kids in school to get them hooked too. So I must go back to work to make more money to buy more panels. My guess at this point is that another 4 panels and increasing my battery storage by about 50% would get me close to 100% solar at the shop. Though I pulled the eight best batteries from the van, they are still four and a half years old and were not treated kindly. The increase in storage capacity would be achieved with 12 new batteries (660 Amp-hrs at 24 Volts). When the shop system is finished, then there's the store where I sell my stoves

What an incredible blessing, loving the work I do. The stoves are keeping folks warm while cooking their food and heating the domestic water. The grid meter spins less and less; the fun meter spins more and more. Living in Genesee Valley. Kinda like a dream. Thank-you!

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Author: Bill Battagin, Feather River Stove Works, 5575 Genesee Rd., Taylorsville, CA 95983 • 916-284-7849 (Comments, questions, and feedback welcome) 24 Volts DC Welder: Bruce Colley, c/o Glenn Products, 47 Lafayette Cir., Unit 306, Lafayette, CA 94549 • 510-686-1788

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