Will Rietveld — 5KW Ground Mount — 2015

Completed system. We recommend a ground mount system when a rooftop is too shaded or does not have good sun orientation. Advantages of a ground mount are full Southern sun exposure, optimum angle, and easy access to clear off snow. As you will see, installing a ground-mount system is a lot more work and costs about 10-12% more than a roof mounted system.


The frame is constructed of 3-inch used oil/gas well production pipe, readily available and inexpensive in Farmington.


This is an in-ground ballasted support system, where the vertical piers are embedded in a block of concrete. Each ballast measures 16 inches wide x 10 feet long x 30 inches deep and holds 1.3 yards of concrete. Will constructed a frame to hold the vertical piers in place so they don’t move when the concrete is poured.


Details inside the ballast holes. The lower rebar is a Ufer grounding system. The center larger rebars connect the base of the two piers in the ballast and reinforce the concrete.


Volunteers filling the ballast holes with concrete.


In this photo the horizontal pipes have been attached to the piers and the mounting rails have been attached to the the frame.


Attaching the panels to the mounting rails.


At this stage the solar panels have been wired to the inverter (large box on a pier) and the feed line, in conduit, enters a trench to connect to the home’s service panel. We are installing chicken wire on the underside of the array as required by electrical code. The smaller box under the inverter is an AC disconnect.


The feed line, in conduit, travels 150 feet from the array to the service panel. It needs to be buried at least 18 inches deep. I enters the house’s crawl space via a hole bored in the foundation.


Finally, the feed line reaches the service panel where it is connected to a 30 Amp two-pole breaker at the lower left, as required by NEC. We also added a whole house surge protecter.

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