Now that the new array is up and functioning beyond our expectations, it was getting time to dismantle the towers upon which the old array had been previously erected. Time to clean up the yard. We had two redundant towers to remove, one 20 feet high, the other 16. Each had a large steel, square picture-frame like structure at the top on which had been fastened the first generation panels.
So yesterday afternoon we began the dismantling of the old towers located out near the back garden boxes and had disconnected the guy wires that were fastened to the surrounding rock. I then took the mini grinder and lopped off the bolts holding the tower to the concrete ground base.
Previous to that, Sal had tied off a rope from the top of the higher PV tower (20 feet) to the the top of the really high (50′) ham radio tower we use for carrying the wind gen. That line was supposed to stop the old tower from falling. But, unnoticed by me and forgotten by Sally, she had neglected to tie the rope back up after tying another length to it and so the 20 foot tower just sat balancing on 4 bolt heads. We didn’t notice.
But we did notice that one old guy wire was still attached.
“Oooh…I forgot to get that last guy wire. I’ll get a wrench and go to it.” So Sal went to disconnect the last turnbuckle. I stood there with my thumb up. Slowly I saw the tower tipping. I grabbed a loose guy wire and, with the assistance of the nearby tree branches, managed to temporarily slow the effects of gravity on a 250 pound top-heavy PV tower as it hurtled towards where Sal was crouched in a squat position working on the turnbuckle.
“Hey! Sal! Lookout!! It’s falling!”
Sal instantly sprang from her crouched position not unlike a tiger in the jungle. She exploded out of the way. Totally stretched out in a cat-like arch about three feet off the ground and heading for the other side of the garden where the cliff dropped off, she flew almost twelve feet and then tucked and rolled to halt safely between two trees. Think Hobbs of Calvin and Hobbs. A Bruce Willis’ stuntman couldn’t have done it better.
I was awe struck even though the guy wire was already cutting into my hand.
“Uh, well done, crouching Tiger. But, if you could, uncoil and tie that rope back up. I can’t hold this much longer.”
We got it all together and then a few minutes later lowered the old tower safely to the ground. Sal was pumped. I was laughing. She done good. She attributed her actions to Survival yoga.