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.
Good one Sally. Amazing leap and roll. Saved yourself. Just looked at all your photos. Do you have one of your garden beds and your battery array?
Sally, natch, is up at yoga tuning up, saying thanks to the yogi and getting in touch with her chakras or whatever. I am still dismantling. I’ll have her send some pics when she comes back. She is director of photography, editing and special effects on this movie and in charge of the purse strings, too. The battery bank is really just three groupings of 4 big, black, D-8 deep-cycle batteries to make up 600+ amp hours. The garden is just three garden boxes of the craziest selection of inedible plants going. Zuccini, Marigolds, squash, Swiss Chard and such. I keep askin’ her to plant stuff we actually eat but she just holds out a Marigold and says, “Here, try this.”
In a prior blog you mentioned, I think, that Sal could run along a fallen log like a squirrel. N’est pas? That gal is game for anything!
Oh yeah. Running along a fallen log is just simply ‘getting around’ for her. Same for scrambling up rock faces, riding the high seas in a low boat in all kinds of weather and climbing towers. Monkey see, monkey try. Monkey also bloody-minded so it will usually get done. She was heroic in the 50 foot tower placement of the windgen but, when it was done, she ruled out ever doing it again. So, she is pretty game for anything once and too sane to volunteer for a second time. That gets twice the credit from me. She may be the most beautiful woman to have ever walked the planet but sissiness did not come with the package. She has a NO FEAR attitude and my challenge is often to keep her safe from her own adventurous spirit. I am the safety nag in this family. First rule in our house: she does not ever touch the chainsaw. EVER!