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Old 07-26-2012, 09:56 PM
desii desii is offline
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Solar Farm Mowing ... Anyone done it?

Looking at a large solar farm and wondered if anyone had experience doing these? Trying to figure out which is the safest / best / fastest / safest (yeah, I said it twice - its a glass house, kinda) way to approach this thing.

The panels are only about 16-20" off the (sometimes uneven) ground and we have to get back about 3' or so under them. The rows are about 8-10' wide and at least 100 yards long.

The dilemma: How to mow under (the low side), between (down the middle) and under the high side, without throwing a rock or breaking the panels, efficiently. They are at a fixed 30 degree angle. Like I sad, 16+" on the low side and 6' or so on the high side.

I have a batwing, but there is no way it's going to fit under the low side. One small bump and there goes a few hundred dollar panel.

Also, Round up isn't an option.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:45 PM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desii View Post
Looking at a large solar farm and wondered if anyone had experience doing these? Trying to figure out which is the safest / best / fastest / safest (yeah, I said it twice - its a glass house, kinda) way to approach this thing.

The panels are only about 16-20" off the (sometimes uneven) ground and we have to get back about 3' or so under them. The rows are about 8-10' wide and at least 100 yards long.

The dilemma: How to mow under (the low side), between (down the middle) and under the high side, without throwing a rock or breaking the panels, efficiently. They are at a fixed 30 degree angle. Like I sad, 16+" on the low side and 6' or so on the high side.

I have a batwing, but there is no way it's going to fit under the low side. One small bump and there goes a few hundred dollar panel.

Also, Round up isn't an option.

Thoughts?
Man.....talk about the possibilities for some bad luck! Too many mirrors for me! :-)
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2012, 03:08 AM
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zechstoker zechstoker is offline
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I wanted to recommend using a flail mower, but I think that'd be more hazardous than anything. We just had a solar farm built on the north end of town within the last month. Rather curious to see how they maintain that area. I know which LCO is handling it, but I haven't seen them mowing through there yet.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:30 AM
Tyler7692 Tyler7692 is offline
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Round up isn't an option? You seriously need to sell the property owner on putting gravel with a nice border (edge) or something in underneath these panels to minimize the maintenance. Inform him/her of the dilemma with the danger of the panels being so close to the ground, the reduced long-term maintenance costs, and the aesthetic improvement in general.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:51 AM
rlitman rlitman is online now
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You're telling me that some engineer designed the layout of that solar farm, designed it to have growing plants under the panels, but never thought about mowing?!? Whoops!
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:06 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Maybe it's the 4th cup of coffee talking, but I'm making myself laugh as I imagine that that the solar panels are used solely as a power source for thousands of cheap, plastic landscaping lights that have their cables buried 1" below the surface, creating what could arguably be considered the toughest lawn servicing bid known to man.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:54 AM
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MOW ED MOW ED is offline
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How about using PGR's in some of the hard to cut areas? Do you have any picture of what this looks like? Is it full grass or a field with weeds? Fertilized or not? Expectations from the property owner? Dimensions? Acreage? Google Map?
Sounds interesting and if the money is right I would figure something out.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2012, 02:26 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zechstoker View Post
I wanted to recommend using a flail mower, but I think that'd be more hazardous than anything. We just had a solar farm built on the north end of town within the last month. Rather curious to see how they maintain that area. I know which LCO is handling it, but I haven't seen them mowing through there yet.
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I was thinking the same thing about the boom flail. Is there a company that makes a bush hog with a boom? Or how about one of those tow behind mowers that are offset to one side? If all else fails and you are making a good profit, just give a couple guys some knee pads and garden shears.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:06 PM
herler herler is online now
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I am sorry but I would be all for convincing this customer that a layer of mulch over top of some weed control fabric would be the way to go because the risk of damage and the liability being so great you really want an area that is as relatively maintenance (and machine) free as possible, before mentioning any of it I would have a price already in mind so I can give them that as well and be prepared that it may not be the answer they want...

But...
And we take on all KINDS of work!
But this is one I wouldn't want to play with.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:59 PM
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kawasaki guy kawasaki guy is online now
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just use a walk behind or stand on.
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