Solar Panel Installation

Solar Panel Installation Equipment

As solar projects become more prevalent in the coming years due to the efficiency of their installation and operation, project managers will continue to look for the most effective means to install large quantities of support piles/pedestals in as short amount of time as possible.  The multi-purpose ABI Mobilram Rig is the perfect rig for for installing solar piles in tough soil conditions.

As an example, a customer of Hammer and Steel’s needed to install 8,800 piles (4” galvanized pipe x ¼” wall thickness) to hold 27,000 photovoltaic solar panels. The pipes were vibrated into fairly dense ground, using a new TM 10/12.5 Mobilram with an MRZV vibratory attachment.

Because the solar panels pivot and can act like a sail, it was critical that the foundation piles had the uplift capacity and side load capacity to withstand significant winds.  For this job, the piles plumbness, accuracy of location, alignment, and pile top (butt) elevation were all extremely critical. The elevations of the pile tops and alignment were laser controlled to ensure accuracy.

Initially, about 100 piles a day were installed, but production was increased to an average of 150 piles per day, in part by using a skid-steer equipped with an innovative, high quality EZ Spot UR device, also supplied by Hammer & Steel, to get the pipes in place in front of the rig in a more timely manner. Record production of 180 pipe pile per day was achieved during one 10-hour shift. With this production rate, the contractor is able to save valuable time and money using an ABI Mobilram as opposed to a rig that might seem less expensive on paper, but takes far longer to complete the job.

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