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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 06-11-2021, 10:40 PM
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Default Weed Barrier

I'm building a 24volt off-grid solar/battery system for back-up power. I could mount them on the roof of my garage but want to avoid the extra costs and permits. I have a good spot for a ground mount but will need to pull weeds and place some weed-barrier of some type.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand of weed-barrier? There are several listed on Amazon. The most common complaint is the thickness of the material and longevity. I was thinking of just using plastic sheeting and placing the solar panels directly on top. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:58 PM
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Cement or concrete


If it will stay in shade

5-10 layers of newspaper
Weed needing on top - whatever the box stores carry.

If you don’t need any drainage, you can lay down black plastic first and then weed mesh.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:58 PM
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Dunno, I've seen plastic sheeting degrade with heat and UV. You'd have to take a good look at what the material the sheet is made of before using it.
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Old 06-12-2021, 4:09 AM
edgerly779 edgerly779 is offline
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PLastic tarp with gravel on top or I have polycarbonate sign faces from old jobs. \I am putting solar on 2 wells down in texas and I cut 2 4'x5' to put under panel, controller and batteries.

Last edited by edgerly779; 06-12-2021 at 7:19 AM..
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Old 06-12-2021, 6:43 AM
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I have always preferred a liquid solution.
https://www.ortho.com/en-us/products...etation-killer
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Old 06-12-2021, 7:09 AM
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Thanks for the replies. It seems like all of the landscaping cloth is the same. Probably only a few different manufacturers for different labels. I saw the ground staples. Will definitely use those. Cardboard then cloth sounds like a good idea. Have plenty of cardboard from the solar panel boxes. Gravel on top of that sounds good.

The location for the solar module installation sits above a small retaining wall and has a natural slope for drainage. I need to check the angle for optimum solar output and may have to tilt the panels a little. The location is south facing and will be partially shaded in the early morning and late afternoon but will still receive 5 hours of full sun during the summer.

The MC4 connectors are IP67 rated for waterproofing. The connectors will be off of the ground but I'm not sure about their final location. All of the electronics are in the garage.

I've got a fan and LED lights (80-100w) running 24/7 for about a week now with a 12V system. Upgrading to a 24v system so I can add another solar module and sort out some wiring/fusing issues. I'll have 720w of solar going into two 120ah LiFePO4 batteries with 3 kilowatt hours of storage.

The 12V system can power my home refrigerator, lights, WiFi, and chargers for a week if I have enough sun. I can't run the central air conditioning. Hopefully the 24V system will let me add a window or portable a/c unit to one room of the house when summer heat kicks in.
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Old 06-12-2021, 9:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassburnz View Post
I'm building a 24volt off-grid solar/battery system for back-up power. I could mount them on the roof of my garage but want to avoid the extra costs and permits. I have a good spot for a ground mount but will need to pull weeds and place some weed-barrier of some type.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand of weed-barrier? There are several listed on Amazon. The most common complaint is the thickness of the material and longevity. I was thinking of just using plastic sheeting and placing the solar panels directly on top. Thanks.
Cement stepping stones and big bags of swimming pool salt or rock salt.

Salt the ground in a thick layer where you're gonna put the cement step stones and place stones. The spaces between the stones provide drainage and allows you to put more salt in there to keep the weeds out. It won't take long before that area is weedless.

Easy peasy and VERY low maintenance. Salt is a great vegetation killer. Cheap too.
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:24 AM
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Do not use cardboard. When it gets wet. It will just get mold .

The weed barrier is cheap. When i use it. I lay down three layers. One layer cross layer.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2021, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brassburnz View Post
I'm building a 24volt off-grid solar/battery system for back-up power. I could mount them on the roof of my garage but want to avoid the extra costs and permits. I have a good spot for a ground mount but will need to pull weeds and place some weed-barrier of some type.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand of weed-barrier? There are several listed on Amazon. The most common complaint is the thickness of the material and longevity. I was thinking of just using plastic sheeting and placing the solar panels directly on top. Thanks.
What's the size of the area do you need coverage on?
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Old 06-12-2021, 10:46 PM
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I remember when PG&E built an early experimental solar farm near my house they leveled the 20 acres or so, sterilized the soil with a broad spectrum sterilant, then brought in about a foot of base mix and compacted that and then dug the footings for the panel farm and poured concrete. Since they were a customer, I got some of the sterilant from one of the parts guys and tried it at my place and used 3/4" crush as a cover since I was doing drainage, not footings. That was nearly 40 years ago and the couple hundred feet of frontage that uses it is has remained remarkably weed-free compared to other areas of the property.

I also noticed acid-bearing cover inhibited a lot of the local west-side weeds. The redwoods and cedars and pines would rarely have weeds growing under their canopies apparently due to needle drop. Apparently the combination of cover and Ph created a natural herbicide effect.

Good luck with the project!
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:46 PM
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If you want something that’s going to last 20 years look up Geo textile


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Old 06-14-2021, 10:23 AM
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I just spray under and around my rack. My neighbor did the weed fabric and rock on top and still has to spray a few stray weeds. Glyphosate is cheep
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:27 AM
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I have 2 6'x8' polycarbonate sheets you could put down as vapor barrier. 50 bucks each indestructible white. In sfv
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:49 AM
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Highly misleading post. Was sure this was going to be a 420 discussion
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Old 06-14-2021, 9:08 PM
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The free way: lay down cardboard, cover with wood chips (Tree trimmers will usually deliver for free).

Moderate cost: Heavy black plastic (like 10 mil), then cover with crushed rock.

Cost is not a factor: concrete pad.
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Old 06-16-2021, 3:03 PM
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I posted a pic of where I want to place the panels. It's a raised area above a retaining wall that has about a 10 degree slope. It is south facing and receives 5-6 hours of direct sunlight during the summer. I want the ground to absorb as much water run-off as possible because it drains and pools directly in front of the back door exit of the house.

After I remove the small tree that is growing in the middle of the area and the dead weeds, I'd like to place the weed-barrier over as much of the remaining ground as possible. There is a small juniper bush that I may or may not remove.

After removing the vegetation and preparing the ground, I will treat it with Ground Clear and then the weed barrier secured with staples. No cardboard. No plastic sheeting. Edgerly's polycarb panels sound interesting, but I want the water to absorb into the ground.

I currently have four 180w panels, but I think there is room for two more for a total of 6 panels along the top edge of the retaining wall. If this works out, I may add another row of 6.

Currently the four panels combined are 720watts. I haven't figured out the ideal tilt angle, but they hit a maximum production of 525watts today. Yesterday they produced 2.25 kilowatt hours to my batteries. I didn't have a load on the batteries.

Tomorrow I'm home all day, so I'm going to run an 800 watt load (portable air conditioner) during the day starting in the morning to see how long my system can keep up before my batteries drop down to 50%. I have 3 kilowatt hours of lithium iron phosphate batteries.

If anyone is interested in the system specs, let me know and I'll post it to another thread.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg panels on ground.jpg (97.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg ground mount.jpg (97.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg ground area.jpg (97.5 KB, 7 views)
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