June 14th – Unirac Mount Constructed & Panels Mounted

Solar Install Team

Solar installation team photo after all 3 arrays were completed, June 16th, 2010

The construction phase of the library’s ICMA Solar Test Bed grant project went into high gear on Monday, June 14th, when the solar team began assembling the Unirac ULA array mounts and securing the solar panels. The solar team is comprised of industry partners, University of Arkansas engineering students and professors, and library staff.

The mounting bases were set on the roof the previous week by project partner Multi-Craft, Inc. Multi-Craft donated the use of their large crane and full rigging crew to set the bases on the ellipse roof. Library facilites staff cut the roof membrane and bolted the feet of the bases to the reinforced concrete to provide a secure mount for the solar arrays. Afterwards, roofers were brought in to re-seal the white reflective roof membrane, another green feature of the facility.

Electrical engineering student Matthew Bell bolts down the ULA feet.

Electrical engineering student Matthew Bell bolts down the ULA feet.

Monday morning engineering professors Dr. Alan Mantooth, Dr. Roy McCann and Dr. Bill Springer worked with their engineering students and library staff to begin the Unirac assembly. After reviewing the assembly plans provided by Unirac for the ULA (ultra large array) mounting system in the library staff training room, the team began forming a plan of attack. The ULA pieces were laid out and counted to confirm all parts necessary were on hand. Assembly started with the upright steel posts, by screwing them into  steel plates/feet. The steel posts were measured, cut and threaded by library staff prior to Monday.

Once the uprights were set, the horizontal support bars were connected and installed in the ULA joining brackets. The horizontal bars support the aluminum rails that hold the PV (photo voltaic) panels in place.

Once the Unirac ULA structures were complete it was time to begin installing the panels. Students carried the 60 panels one by one (20 for each ULA mount) and helped secured the panels to the mounts.

University of Arkansas engineering students carrying panels to the Unirac mount.

University of Arkansas engineering students carrying panels to the Unirac mount.

Engineering students bolt the solar panels to the Unirac ULA mount.

Engineering students bolt the solar panels to the Unirac ULA mount.

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