Just call me Mr SOLARMAN

Almost 30 years ago, I decided that I wanted to heat my house with an alternative to wood.  After almost cutting the end of my foot off, resulting in visit to the emergency room and a bunch of stitches,  I made the decision to find another way to heat our house.  As time passed and we completed the indoor swimming pool with the 24 hot water solar panels on the roof, which was supposed to act as a heat sink that would provide the heat for a heat pump, it became obvious that I was too far ahead of my time and too poor to get the necessary hardware to complete this project. Wood continued to be my primary source of heat but we had a swimming pool that stayed open 8 months out of the year.

Solar heated pool
Solar heated pool

About 5 years ago I read an article pertaining to an old technology that utilized heat transfer through special designed tube to heat your domestic hot water.  I researched it and decided to install one.  Here it is.

June 9 2013 597

This unit makes my hot water.

About a year ago, a friend of my by the name of Rick, asked me over to see his solar voltaic array at Ice Mountain.  When I saw Rick’s system it rekindled my solar drive and I began to research the feasabilty of putting up a solar array at my house.  I had traveled this road before but to my amazement, prices had dropped and the feds were giving a 30% rebate on taxes.  I was ready to go! After almost a year of planning I made my initial purchase of a load of galvanized steel to construct the racking system for the collectors. I choose steel over Aluminum due the high price of aluminum.

Here we go…..


This is the spot I choose to place the array.


Jerry Dean and Tim McDougall helping me dig in the rock.


Country Cramer checking the level of a support.


Brian Streisel helping me cement a support in.


The frame is done and we are ready to place some collectors on it!


Tim McDougall and I place the first panel.


And now we have three!


County Cramer, Wayne Mathias and Bill Determan putting up number 15!


18 on the rack and 27 to go…Bill Determan, Country Cramer and Wayne Mathias helping out.


Its getting bigger thanks to Penny Pratt and Jonah Pratt


36 up and counting with the help of Rich Maloney and Ray Stein. The end is near.


Steve Harris  standing in front of the BIG FINISHED ARRAY!


My neighbor Steve Swisher lending a helping hand…I mean tractor.


The big , long ditch.


Brian Streisel covering up  the BIG DITCH.


Country Cramer and Aaron McBride hooking up the inverters.


Aaron McBride hooking up the daisy chain of collectors.

This is where we are now.  Country and I are still working on the final hook up to the house/grid.

I will let you know when we are ready to start producing electricity!

Who knows, I may have a solar party!






6 thoughts on “Just call me Mr SOLARMAN

  1. Charlie, this array sure puts my 18 panels to shame. I have not paid a power account for years now. The array is almost cash positive after the AUS$8600.00 outlay.

    1. Pumping away with those photons pounding on my array. Looks like I am breaking even right now. The new heat pump is a hungry chap!
      Still looking for a travel mate….

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