The first panel went well, but I knew there were things I could have done to make it work more smoothly. The primary problem was that I used a very cheap hand crank winch which disintegrated on me. I fixed this by buying the smallest electric winch I could find. I ended up with a 12 volt 1500lb winch designed for pulling RTVs out of the mud. It is just the right size and can easily be powered by my solar panel system. As soon as I got home I did what I do with anything new that I get. I took it apart. Everything looked good and I made a new mounting bracket for it so that it would fit with my system.
Another problem that I encountered was some gouging at the bottom of the track. To fix this I cut a slot about 3/4 of an inch up the corner of the track, heated it up with a torch and flared the two flanges. This made a much smoother transition onto the track and fixed the problem.
The final small change I made was to cut a piece of PVC pipe in half and use the halves as a slide on the tracks. It made a big difference by reducing the friction.
Once the panels were outside and we finished installing all of the threaded inserts, it took less than an hour to put them on the house! Thank you Randal, Amanda, Josh, Toper, Pat, Scott, Dave and Ben for your help!
For now the panels are held in place with TimberLocks from the top side. Before I put on the roofing material I need to drill holes and replace the TimberLocks with some bolts that are installed from the inside. Then I will put on some temporary fiberglass roofing until I am ready to do the copper roof.
|Photo by Topher|