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In a logic of protection of the environment, the solar imposes itself as renewable energy. Among other possibilities, Pierre Burg uses it to recharge his batteries: he has made a mobile support to install his panel at the most favorable place.

A solar collector support

Beginner level
Achievement: approx. 1 weekend
Cost: approx. 30 €
Minimum equipment: welding machine, grinder, hacksaw

See the plan of this realization (in pdf): Support for solar collector: the plan

Mounted on wheels, the bracket is designed to support a photovoltaic panel, as well as a regulating charger and a battery. In addition to the mobility of the equipment, the possibility of tilting the panel increases the solar energy recovery performance by choosing the ideal orientation each time.

All Metal

Apart from the shelf (16 mm PTC) for the charger, the realization is entirely metal: angle iron, square tube, round tube, iron to concrete. This gives the whole rigidity essential to preserve the solar panel, quite fragile and expensive.

The framework

The base of the trolley is a frame 40 x 40 mm bracket, used as a battery holder, whose elements are assembled miter and welded perfectly square. This frame has at the front, at the corners, two small welded legs that receive the axes of the wheels: simple metal screws also welded. From the same angles start two uprights whose ends are pierced laterally. These holes will receive the pins of the horizontal bar of the stabilizer charged to support the solar panel.

The base of the trolley

The base of the trolley

The structure formed in support on his crutch. Still on the ground, the stabilizer and the "T" stem of the solar collector. Next to the plywood shelf, the adjusting sleeve equipped with its adjustable screw, the wheels and the various fixing accessories.

In the middle of the rear cross member of the frame is welded the base of the maneuvering arm. Made of 25 mm square tube, it is completed by a short section assembled at an angle of 135°. Which accommodates the handle delivered in Ø 16/21 tube and welded. Thus constituted, the assembly can bear without weakness the plywood shelf, the support stand, as well as the forces transmitted by the stabilizer and the tilt adjustment bracket of the solar panel.

Rigidifying the assembly, the stabilizer is obtained by the T-assembly of two Ø 10 mm concrete reinforcing bars. Its lugs are formed of two screws welded to the ends of the bar, in its extension. The rod of the stabilizer ends with a flat iron clevis: it is pierced to connect by screw and nut all to a bearing bracket welded on the top of the arm.

The stand is drawn from a Ø 16/21 tube welded under the arm. Its positioning is defined so that the inclination of the arm forms with the ground an angle of approximately 45°, once the carriage equipped with its wheels. The tilting adjustment jib is formed, like the stabilizer, of a "T" in iron of Ø 10 concrete. Its horizontal bar also has two lugs, but they are welded perpendicularly. They thus ensure the maintenance in the upper part of the solar panel, by engaging in two holes drilled in its original frame.

The inclination is adjusted by sliding the stem of the stem in a round tube sheath pierced axially in the middle. It is fixed on the arm thanks to a threaded rod welded in one of the holes. A welded nut on the opposite hole accommodates the thumbscrew, which passes through the entire arm (drilled for this purpose) to be blocked at the output by a lockable nut.

Two supports

Two supports

At rest, the solar panel comes to rest on a support U (flat iron) welded at the top of the arm. Placed lower, another support (angle) receives the plywood shelf: its upper wing has two holes for fixing by bolts stove.

The solar panel

The solar panel

The panel bears on the horizontal bar of the stabilizer. In the upper part, the pins of the stem bar are housed in holes drilled originally in the frame of the sensor.

Neat welds

The welds are ground with the grinder one hand and the oxidized parts removed with the wire brush. Once degreased, the parts receive a rust inhibitor and then a special metal finish paint.

Fit and maintain the wheels

Fit and maintain the wheels

Plastic end caps are placed at the end of the handle and stand. Finally, the wheels are mounted on their axes with the interposition of a tubular spacer. They are held by nuts (with inserted washers), on which are also fitted plastic covers.

Ensure stability

The panel has some hold in the wind. It is therefore recommended to use structural materials sufficiently heavy to ensure the stability of the assembly.

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