It was a big pain and an even bigger relief to get the solar panel racking built and in the ground. Over the last week we have been steadily tying up loose ends. I sanded down all the areas of siding that I applied wood filler to, and then went out and got a stainable kind- which should make things way easier. We also finished building the rest of the posts needed for the panels, continued siding work, and then this weekend, mounted the posts in the ground.
Talk about work! It took us almost two full days and some extra help to get those posts in the ground, level, plumb, and ready to rock. Luckily it was flat out amazing weather. Mostly sunny, low 70s, and breezy. When you are digging holes, the weather can play a big part in your experience. We definitely got frustrated and threw shovels (ahem, DAN) more than once, but I can only imagine how it would have gone down if it were say....98 degrees, 99% humidity and zero breeze.
The soil at the farm has a LOT of rocks in varying sizes from baseball to "Why don't we just put a koi pond here by the time we get this freakin' thing out!". On day one, we did most everything ass backwards. Maybe it was the added stress of possibly moving the next day (which didn't pan out) but we both were approaching the task in a not so efficient way. We dug holes first and expected the rest to fit flawlessly. Never again! Thankfully, most of our holes were not too far off, but we did end up digging more than the 6 you see in these pictures.
Dan's Dad came by later in the day and helped us get the first row secure, level, even, and pretty much any other direction descriptor you can think of. Man, can it be hard to get things lined up when they can go wrong in about 8 different directions! We put in about 9 hours on Saturday.
On Sunday, we came back and finished the second row. We had the holes dug, and things looked relatively straight. That was until we started measuring with tools. HA! Long story short, we had to dig our holes deeper, and of course we ran into a very large rock right where the pole needed to go. Deb and Michael were home Sunday, so Michael came to the rescue with his tractor and dug a great big hole before that stupid boulder was out. The second hole seemed fine, so Michael went off to tend to his own chores. When we got to the third hole, we realized that the poles were not in a neat row, and the hole had to be moved about 6 inches over and be about 6 inches deeper. We found another rock. We battled with that thing for about an hour, using every technique we could come up with including using an 8 ft 2x4 as a lever.
|Layla knows just where to lay down and relax...|
|Our site supervisors. If only they were as helpful as they were attentive! :)|
|Pointing directly south? Check!|
Needless to say we are two pooped, sore, but very happy people. Sure the job sucked, but the land, the weather, the view, and all the wildlife made it worth it. The farm is SO beautiful and we cannot wait to get there!
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|Solar racking: MOUNTED!|