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Author Topic: scaffold ground mounts  (Read 703 times)
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« on: January 13, 2018, 04:24:02 PM »

I'm planning to use scaffolding for a pv ground mount system. Please could you advise on the following:

1. how to connect commercial rails to the scaffold tubes - a modified scaffold clamp may suffice but it would be useful to have something off the shelf
2. scaffold clamps and corrosion - any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I was planning to paint the scaffold clamps to avoid corrosion on the bolts.
2. ground anchors - i was thinking of driving the scaffold into the ground as an anchor (no concrete) and using another tube driven in at an angle - any good suggestions about driving the scaffold tube into the ground - pole driver etc
3. I think it would be useful to fill the inside of the tube with something to prevent water collecting and rusting from the inside. Expanding foam, concrete - thoughts and suggestions


off grid 4 years: 2.5kw pv,sunny island 5048, 2 mx 60s, proven 2.5 48v, home made charge controller, 1500Ah fork lift batteries, 60 evacuated tube solar heating, vigas 40 kw biomas boiler, 3000l thermal store
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 08:37:13 PM »

Hi JH,

I've never actually used scaffold for PV mounts but a few on here have and I'm sure they'll be along shortly. I do have experience of driving stuff into the ground though as I've done more than my fair of fencing. One thing for sure, it's never as easy as you think to drive anything straight into the ground in exactly the right position. Personally I'd concrete them it, that way they'll be exactly where you want them and they won't lift out. Also I wouldn't fill them with anything, again in my experience foam traps water and promotes corrosion. I'd just plug the ends with plastic caps. When I have considered using scaffolding I just thought of using regular PV rails and fastening them to the tubes with exhaust clamps. However I'm sure there are better ways.

Good luck, Paul

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 02:29:21 AM »

How about a coat of Waxoyl rustproofing on the inside of the tube before install. You could also paint synthaprufe on the section of pole set into the ground or concrete to provide protection. Would have thought bolting the rails to the scaffold would be the easiest option. Grease or Copper grease on the scaffold bracket threads to stop corrosion. Would allow for easy future adjustment if needed. Perhaps a quick annual run around with a rag and tub of grease to top up protection.

6kw WBS, Nissan Leaf 24 (gone), Tesla Model S
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 06:31:26 AM »

How about U bolts to connect rails to the scaffold tubes.

Also maybe use tube clamps instead of normal scaffold clamps.  If using tube clamps, drill an indent for the 'grub' screw to engage.

2.1kWp solar PV
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 08:32:46 AM »

This is the chap whose design I copied
I was living in France and scaffolding was unavailable so I used box section again due to availability fixed into concrete.
Biff has used scaffolding and is a scaffolding guru.
Both of these are on the site with photos
Good luck
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An unpaid Navitron volunteer who lives off-grid.

« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 05:44:13 PM »

I split the swivels in 2 half.
                            This left a hole in each swivel where the pin was removed,,I found that by putting a bolt through the hole from inside each swivel half,(with a washer),, that i was able to secure 25mm box iron rails to my scaffold poles. Then it was just a simple matter of bolting the panels to the box iron,,(galvanised).
   It is a very strong assembly and ideal for our exposed coastal location.

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 09:18:12 PM »

If you haven't already committed to (purchase) of scaffold, I have 4 arrays of PV, (4.6Kw) all ground mounted using drive in Metposts and timber frame with aluminum frame connection rails.  We're 300 Mtrs up exposed to high winds and this method has worked for me.,27590.msg315865.html#msg315865

Any help.


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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 12:43:27 PM »

very much same as Andy. single 22 panel array at about 800 ft on south facing slope in wet west wales. Installed in 2011 using treated 4x4 posts and 6x2 rails with aluminium mounting rails. No problems so far.


3.92w freestanding PV with sb3300 +Imersun
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