Suddenly I have a reputation. What reputation? The one that causes everyone to run outside to protect their ground deploy solar panels when I drive up. What happened? Let’s review.
The Solar Panel Incident With The Beast
It was a gorgeous sunny day in Leadville, Colorado. Becky Schade and I were going for a drive somewhere.
As I am backing up, I know my two ground deploy solar panels are there. I am sure I am clearing them. Let’s review that I am not a careful person. I’m not.
As I’m backing out and Becky casually says (’cause she’s not surprised ’cause she knows me) “I think you just ran over a solar panel”.
And I had zero doubt that I probably had. And I had. Not only had I done that, but I also knocked the other one over. SO now I had a(nother) ground deploy solar panel that was shattered on one side.
Was This My First Shattered Solar Panel?
No. The first one happened last year in Moab while at an Xscapers convergence.
We had a very sudden thunderstorm blow in and before I remembered about my solar panel (and I had failed to put a weight on it just in case of this type of event), it got picked up and tossed face down onto the concrete. Boom. Shattered solar panel. (Sigh)
Ok, are you getting that I am not very careful?
Were Those The Only Two Panels I Shattered?
If you are counting, this will be panel #3 I have shattered. Ok, I might be starting to see how I have a reputation.
The THIRD and hopefully FINAL panel I shattered happened once again by accident. (I mean, who purposely shatters their solar panels?)
This was a HUGE set of panels hinged together which I eventually planned to put on the roof. This was a VERY heavy setup. No handle to move it around with, either. It was clumsy and heavy and I had nowhere good to put it.
On my way to Trona Pinnacles, Ca, I laid it on the floor in my RV during travel. I stopped at a Wal Mart for groceries. When I was putting groceries away, I propped the panel up on the wall.
Did I mention I am not a careful person? You bet you know what I did(nt do) next.
Yep. I didn’t put it down before I took off again. It didn’t cross my mind until I was about 2 hours down the road. Pulled over expecting the worst. And I got it. It had fallen over and shattered. Not only did it shatter, but it put a very lovely hole in my door as well. Sweet.
There was only one way I was going to not kill solar panels anymore. Put them on the roof. And I did, with Marshall’s help, of course. I DO still have the huge shattered ground deploy, but I really hope I never need to use it. God forbid.
LOOKOUT, KELLY’S COMING!
Friends cringe when I come around now. Panels are quickly snatched up and moved when I drive into camp. It’s embarrassing.
I kid. (I do get playful shit about it though, which I totally own.)
My friend Rob and I had fun with my first two shattered panels after he rigged up my new large heavy one to be my sole ground deploy. Before I shattered it.
We ‘tore them up’, and then I ceremoniously threw them into a dumpster. It felt pretty good.
If you have ground panels and you are thinking about finally getting rooftop solar, I cannot recommend it more.
I’m probably the best advocate you’ll ever find. 😉