The basic 30 year rule in the blog title assumes that I live 30 more years after building and in a similar manner until the fateful day. Give or take a week. And, so far, being ten years into it, it is working. Kinda. My trusty solar array which has the slightly too-short 25 year warranty (and starting 10 years ago) is fine but, suffering from panel envy, I got some more solar panels this past winter. And then I built an array or frame structure to hold the old panels and the new ones in a better spot.
It is now up. It is awaiting the panels.
Today I took down the old panels from the old frame. They had been built to the 30 year rule, meaning: they were very hard to take apart. I eventually had to grind three bolts off while dangling from atop the old array-frame. Tip-toe-ing on a 2 inch pipe leaning at a ridiculous angle mini-grinding off two bolts that, presumably, had high titanium content.
Thought I was gonna die.
“So, how did you assemble all that in the beginning? There are so many cables and struts that I can see it clearly isn’t gonna fall down, but I can’t see a logical way to put it up or take it down. What did you do first?”
“Well, Brian, I am old. And I can’t remember. I remember adding all the cables later so at least they weren’t in the way at that time. But they are now. And I seem to recall doing the first four panels one way and the lower four a different way. To be honest, the only thing I remember clearly is the 30 year rule which means I shouldn’t have to remember anything.”
“Well, at this rate you are going to live to somewhere around the ten year rule – which is just about now. I think you are going to die.”
“Yeah. I feel the same way. Did you see that flash?”
“Yeah. What was that?”
“The power of eight solar panels jumping the tracks and trying to get aboard my misplaced crescent wrench.”
“Geez, man. Maybe you should get someone in.”
“No, doofus. How about an electrician?”
“You mean Sal? She’s at yoga. Anyway, I can’t afford her anymore. Her rates went way, way up.”
“Well, you might get fried.”
“Strange you should say that. I can feel low current juicing through the frame to the ladder as we speak. Glad I have on rubber soles. Should have on rubber gloves,too, I guess.”
“Yeah. But it was only because I still have the panels wired together and let the wires touch the ladder. I am gonna stop that right now and disconnect everything and wrap the ends in tape and all. No worries.”
“Is this how people put on solar panels?”
“Yep. Zactly. They get up on ladders, dangle over the edge, get a little juiced now and again and then act like an expert at the next gathering.”
“Yeah. I remember now. At that last dinner party, you and Mike were talking solar panels for an hour.”
“Yep. And, as you can see, I haven’t a clue. YEOUCH! That one smarts! Did you see that flash?”
“I’m leaving. I can’t watch. This is crazy.”
“Hey! Come back. How else you going to learn about stuff like this..? YEOUUUCH! Hey, did you see that flash?”