Solar Framing System
Australian Patent No. 2019216676
SOLAR FRAMING OVERVIEW
The traditional Australian windmills are slowly being replaced with ever-improving solar pump technology. Following mechanical failure of an ageing windmill, a structurally sound tower will often remain. The Adapt-a-Mill system is designed to make use of this existing tower as an attractive alternative to erecting a pole mount array.
Significant features and benefits of the Adapt-a-Mill system include;
- Simple and easy to install
-Suitable for all windmill towers
- Panels can be placed high out of reach of livestock, eliminating the need for additional stockproof fencing
- There is no need for digging, concreting, or drilling
- There is no need to remove or modify the tower
- There is reduced cabling and pipework requirements
- Switches and pump controllers can be easily fastened
- System is compact for easy handling and storage (no long, heavy posts)
HOW IT WORKS
The Adapt-a-Mill system (AMS) is designed to support solar panels* in portrait orientation on any existing windmill tower.
It has a single housing head and main rail which allows it to be attached at any height and is able to be rotated before securing into a desired position (see diagram below).
For increased rigidity, a wire rope cable is tensioned from the main rail back to the tower.
*Individual solar panels not to exceed 1700mm x 1000mm.
*Total width of solar panel array not to exceed 2100mm (max length of Eco-rails supplied)
Solar Framing System Pricing
AMS - $595.00
Suitable for any existing windmill tower and supplied with two aluminium Eco-rails (max 2100mm).
Aluminium mounting plates for easily attaching isolator switches and pump controllers to the inside of a tower leg come in two sizes as shown.
The small size is suitable for most common isolator switches while the large size is suitable for many popular controllers.
A single mounting plate is supplied with the AMS and unless otherwise requested the small plate (for an isolator switch) will be provided.
Additional mounting plates (fittings included) may be purchased for $29.00 (small) and $39.00 (large).
Things to know
Solar panels and clamps are not included with the Adapt-a-Mill systems.
As there are many varied sizes of solar panels (and clamps) available, it is recommended that these be obtained from your solar pump supplier to ensure suitability and compatibility of all components.
The Clenergy Eco-Rails (2 x 2100mm) are supplied
Two types of panel clamps are used for attaching solar panels to the Eco-rails. 'End'-clamps attach the outside edges of the array, and 'Mid'-clamps are positioned between solar panels. In the standard 2 panel portrait array you will require 4x end clamps and 2x mid clamps to secure the panels.
The Adapt-a-Mill system is galvanised and comes with a 10 year warranty.
Price includes freight to the nearest town and customer will be notified when available for pickup.
Please use the contact page to submit any enquiries.
Orders may be placed via the order form below and goods will be dispatched within 5 days from receipt of payment.
Adapt-a-Mill is committed to providing a quality product that meets your satisfaction. If this is not the case, please contact us via e-mail or phone to discuss an acceptable outcome.
Adapt-a-Mill does not accept responsibility for structural failure of the windmill tower itself or failure caused by installation not in accordance with the guidelines provided herein.
Please allow 5 working days for dispatch
Additional freight costs:
South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland $75.00
Northern Territory and Western Australia $100
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
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.
I am unfamiliar with the Adapt-a-Mill system. 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. Contact for details.
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.
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.
Can I erect this alone?
Yes. Although an extra pair of hands is especially helpful when putting up panels.
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.