The Ypsilanti Food Coop is getting a new roof today and the roofers needed to get under the solar panels, so around noon we turned them off and took the rack apart. The roofers worked quickly and we were able to put the rack back together and turn the panels back on around 6:00pm.
The old roof was black and the new roof is white. This should boost our production of solar power with more reflective light hitting the panels.
We had hoped to install the solar panels on the back of City Hall yesterday, but did not have enough time to finish.
Here’s a short summary yesterday’s work. Initially we had hoped to raise the frame for the solar panels in one piece. We could easily lift it, but the frame was too flexible, so we disconnected the frame into 3 pieces and raised the center frame. The lift we rent worked great, but it only gives us access to about 1/3 of the wall at a time. We temporary pinned the frame to the wall with some mechanical anchors, while trying to get the frame level and plumb. This proved difficult from the lift. We had to use ropes from the roof to raise and lower the frame, to tweak it into the correct location.
With a couple of mechanical anchors and ropes holding the center section of the frame in place, we drilled the holes for the Hilti HY Max 150 epoxy anchors. These too proved to take longer then expected working from the lift. We drilled, brushed, and blew-out a dozen holes and epoxied in a bunch of anchors. Then we repeat for another bunch of anchors. The epoxy sets up in 1 hour so after lunch we were able to torque down these anchors. We had a few that did not hold, so we had to clean the holes and re-epoxy the anchor.
The metal that is up there is well anchored to the wall. The volunteer crew, is back to work on their normal jobs and we returned the lift. I’m going to talk with the crew later this week, and schedule another day to hopefully finish hanging the panels.
Tim Neff, the electrician for the project, stopped by yesterday to look at his part of the job again. He also pulled the electrical permit for the project. He too is busy, but said he would like to start in a couple of weeks. He’ll need to run conduit from the back wall, through the boiler room, to the electrical room. He’ll also need to run conduit from the electrical room out to the utility meter on the back wall.