Unique Rural Products
Frequently Asked Questions
I am needing 3 panels for my pumping system but my tower doesn’t face True North. Can I still use the AM3?
Yes – Every solar pumping system is a product of limitations and compromise to achieve its objectives. Just as a pole mount system may be turned to the NE or NW to avoid shadowing from trees etc the AM3 may not face the panels directly towards True North. However, every windmill tower has at least one face with a Northerly component which can be used with little effect on the overall performance of a correctly sized system. It will however shift the solar producing window to favour the mornings (NE) or afternoons (NW).
There is a ladder attached to the tower. Does it need to be removed?
No – The tower should remain intact as there is room for the panels to avoid additions such as ladders.
How do I know if the tower is strong enough?
In general terms, there are many different types of windmill towers, most of which have stood the test of time while supporting a large moving fan at a considerable height. By necessity, they were designed to withstand substantial wind loads and, as the Adapt-a-Mill system does not remove or compromise any structural elements, the tower’s integrity is maintained.
*However - if there are any concerns regarding the tower structure, these should be assessed by an engineer as warranty does not cover structural failure of the tower itself.
Why is the AM3 structurally certified but not the AM1 and AM2?
Supporting 3 solar panels and a non-conventional framework, structural certification for the AM3 was considered necessary. In contrast, the smaller arrays of the AM1 and AM2 utilize a conventional framework already seen on leading post-mount systems
I am unfamiliar with the Adapt-a-Mill systems. How long can I expect it to take me to erect?
In less than an hour. When familiar- about 20 mins.
Can I get a complete package to adapt my windmill to a solar pumping system?
Yes – Adapt-a-Mill does not supply solar pumps, however, has a close affiliation with a solar pump supply company who specialise in complete plug and play systems.
Why does the AM3 have three aluminium rails?
This model has two main steel rails whose supportive span depends upon its point of attachment ie the further up the tower it is attached, the closer these two supportive rails become. By adding a third aluminium rail, the range of spans could be increased to make it suitable for the most common windmill towers.
Is there an advantage to face panels in different directions such as in the 4 panel example?
There can be.
If you were to face panels NE and NW instead of just True North, you would increase the daily pumping time. The pump would start earlier (NE) and stop later (NW) which can be especially useful when extracting water from low producing bores.
Do I need any special tools?
No. All that is needed is a few spanners, an allen key, a tek screw driver and a tape measure. A ladder may also be needed if unable to work from the back of a ute or truck.
Can I erect this alone?
Yes. Although an extra pair of hands is especially helpful when putting up panels.
Can I use panels that are not standard 60 cell?
Yes. Smaller panels can be supported by the standard adapt-a-mill models and larger panels may be used on the AM1 and AM2 by adding an extra aluminium Eco-rail.
How do I know how many panels I need for my proposed system?
This is determined by a number of factors which your solar pump supplier will consider when sizing your pumping system.
I am an installer and have my own supply of Eco-rails. Can I obtain these systems without the Eco-rails?
Why does the tilt angle have a ‘range’ from 20-30 degrees? Is it adjustable?
The main rail and the housing head are offset at a fixed angle which is not adjustable. As the housing head is attached to a windmill leg, the angle of the solar panel platform may vary between different windmills due to their different angles of taper. The most common windmills will result in a tilt angle to the horizontal of between 20-30 degrees.
I live in Victoria, is a 25 degree tilt angle enough?
Yes. While the rule of thumb for maximum year round performance is to match the tilt angle with your latitude, there is very little reduction in output (~1%) for tilt angles up to 15 degrees either side of the latitude angle.