The Windemuller team committed early on to achieve the students’ goal of completing the project in time for their Earth Day celebration. The team was aware of the expectations in advance, but after receiving a request from the school for a system increase from 20kW to 30kW, we knew we needed to get this installation kicked off as soon as possible. This commitment would set the timeline at just under two weeks, creating a tight turnaround for the Windemuller team to gather supplies and complete the work.
In addition to the short timeframe, the weather made working conditions difficult, and at times dangerous. A bulk of the project took place in mid-April, a time of year during which weather can be hit-or-miss. Unfortunately, the weather did not play out favorably and the team had to work through cold and rainy conditions. Due to the colder temperatures in the morning, freezing rain turned into a thin layer of ice on the metal roof, thus making the conditions too dangerous to work.
Although the team was faced with multiple obstacles, they were determined to help the students reach their goal. To ensure the project ran smoothly and the required materials were available, extra time was spent in advance verifying resources were on-site. This additional step would help guarantee the team was prepared and in the long run would save time. Due to the pandemic, some materials have increased in price and are less available. Luckily, Windemuller had wisely stocked up on additional parts that could be utilized for this solar project.
Although the weather may not have been ideal, the crew found ways to work through the inclement conditions. During the morning hours when the metal roof was icy, the crew utilized the boom lift at a higher-than-average rate. Although this made the work being performed more rigorous and time consuming, this was a better alternative than stopping work completely. Thankfully when warmer temperatures were reached at mid-afternoon, the team was able to resume working on the school’s roof.
In the end, the Windemuller team met the students’ deadline and proudly attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at East Jordan Middle / High School on Earth Day. The lead staff member of the Shoe Club shared that he was almost brought to tears to see this project finally come to fruition, after the many hours of hard work the club members had put into the planning process. The Windemuller team felt a great sense of pride being able to help the students achieve their goal and to experience something so positive and powerful.