Tower of Power (preview)

Here is a clip of the final moments of the tower raising. You can't see the cables, but the jeep winch cable goes through a block anchored to the tree in front of the jeep ('56 Willys M38 A-1) and back to a cable system called a Spanish Burton (3:1) on the other side of the tower. The rope in the foreground that goes to the top of the tower, and takes a turn around the…

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Tower of Power I: Constructing the tower

A metal tower (38' 4") with a spiral staircase will hold 6000 watts of solar panels up near the treetops. This video shows the first steps of creating the tower, first pouring a deep concrete footing and a slab. Then the spiral staircase and frame are reinforced and aligned on the ground. The tower is lifted off the ground using a derrick with a hand winch. Then the jeep ('56 Willys M38 A-1) winch does the…

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Tower of Power II: Hoisting a Panel Rack

Here we are hoisting the first of two large solar panel holding racks into the air for placement on top of the 38'4" tall sculptural metal tower.  This first rack mounts high and to the north, and the second one will mount lower on the south side.   As usual, we used the winch on the jeep (’56 Willys M38 A-1). The jeep winch cable goes through a block anchored at the base of the tower, up…

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Tower of Power III: Raising the solar panels

Here is the video you have all been asking for. How did you get the solar panels up to the top of that tower? The activity required the use of a 2:1 block and tackle to haul each panel up, one at a time, with human muscle power. Once at the top, each panel was hefted into the frame, and attached with 4 bolts, which required some circus work: hanging from bat hooks under the panels,…

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Tower of Power IV: Building the Power House

The Tower of Power has additional solar power equipment that needs to be connected together, including charge controllers, inverters, circuit breakers, and batteries. Bob built a “Power House” out of 18 gauge steel to contain these components. He designed the wiring layout and wired all the connections, installed the two yellow inverters (each weighs 130 pounds), the two charge controllers, and the four batteries (100+ pounds a piece) in the shop. The complete Power House weighed…

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