Today we stated to test the components of our solar technology – the system diagram above shows an overview of how things are connected (click on picture to download a .pdf version). We connected the battery via charge controller to the solar module and tested out the LED strips. Everything worked well. We planned to get everything ready for a photo shooting tonight but the gusty winds threatened to snap our freshly transplanted soybeans.
Here are downloads of the datasheets of the components we are using as well as a picture of the technical information of our solar panel:
Jake and Emily determine the exact placement and orientation of the National Security Garden’s solar tower with a solar pathfinder before the installation in a couple of days. Temperatures are still below freezing and the site is covered in snow which made an earlier installation impossible.
Here is a more detailed view of the solar tower, now that we have started to build it in the DLRC lab. We have also included a .pdf document of the 3D model of the tower including the exploded view which can be downloaded here: solar_tower.pdf.
Here is an updated version of the solar tower plans with dimensions: tower_to_scale.pdf
Jake and Sean complete the finishing touches on the walls of the planter box with Prof. Winkler. (photo: McMullen)
Last Friday (2/15/13), we cut the MDO boards for the planter and the solar tower in the Art&Design shop in Pao Hall with Dave Marchese, the shop manager. here is the cut list we used to determine the lengths and angles for the cuts: cutlist_final.pdf
Here are some construction drawings on how to build the planter box. We still need to find the materials for the metal frame on top of the planter box (providing stability and tracks for the LED lights) – I am looking at Unistrut/Superstruts which come in lengths of 20ft. I am also a little concerned about our 4×4 and 4×6 posts which are not as straight as I hoped… but we’ll somehow make it work. Click on the images below for larger versions:
EMT conduit pipe
Bending the pipe to shape into hoops
It is usually not recommended to bend pipes without a bender because the soft metal will kink (i.e. the space within the pipe will be deformed). However, since we are just using the pipe for structural support, we don’t need to worry about the functionality of the pipe itself. So manually bending the pipe into hoops, perhaps against a round edge and without a bender, should not be a problem (in theory).