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9357Re: Do it yourself Solar Panels

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  • Jay
    Nov 4, 2009
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      Most of the home built panels that I have seen are built out of broken surplus cells. I've looked at surplus cells before, and some of the cells were completely destroyed (only a single contact/trace), but many were sufficiently intact that you could get some current out of them.

      With cells like these, almost any layout would have to be highly irregular, so I would not think cell to cell expansion would be a major issue. Since you are soldering them with wire, by hand, I don't see too much issue there. Use SN96 solder, and make sure to avoid oxidation on the tip and you should end up with a good joint. If you end up having problems with embrittlement or work hardening, a conductive epoxy might be worth trying. I have not tried this though, so there may be some issues.

      I would think the hardest problem will be getting a good voltage balance between the dozens of crazy string fragments you are going to end up with. Use lots of bypass diodes and don't set expectations too high, I would say.

      Also realize your power density is going to be horrible since the surplus cells won't fit together even remotely tightly packed.

      No matter what you do you will end up with a low quality panel, but it could be inexpensive as long as you don't value high performance or the man hours you spend on it. For me, personally, I would rather buy a high performance panel and spend my time on something else.

      But as an experiment I would say, go for it. If someone brought a homebrew panel by the next HREG meeting I would be interested in seeing it and hearing about it.

      Have fun guys -

      - Jay








      --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Conlin" <kevin@...> wrote:
      >
      > No it's not. The purpose of this group is to share information, and my
      > advice to this group is to not fool themselves into thinking there is any
      > logical reason to try and build their own PV module.
      >
      > Perhaps you can share with the group how you do it? Can you explain to us
      > how you determined the correct cell interconnect geometry to overcome long
      > term work hardening due to daily thermal cycling, a typical failure mode in
      > an inexpensive panel?
      >
      > Kevin Conlin
      > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
      > 13534 Quetzal Lane
      > Houston, TX 77083
      > C: (281) 202-9629
      > H: (281) 530-7501
      > F: (281) 530-7501
      > kevin@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      > offgridhomesteading.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 6:11 PM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [hreg] Do it yourself Solar Panels
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Kevin to work for a solar company and to tell people not to learn how to do
      > something that may well be a beneficial skill in the coming future is
      > asinine, and it is possible to make them cheaper and have them put out just
      > as much power as the commercial panels, there is nothing that commercial
      > manufactures do different from Joe in his garage except the film that they
      > are vacuum sealed in. Those that say that someone cant do, need to get out
      > of the way of those doing.
      >
      > David
      > OffGridHomesteading.com
      > Living off the GRID in Texas
      >
      >
      > --- On Wed, 11/4/09, Kevin Conlin <kevin@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From: Kevin Conlin <kevin@...>
      > Subject: RE: [hreg] Do it yourself Solar Panels
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 3:17 PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Sorry, building your own solar panels does not make any sense at all. No
      > one can do it better or cheaper than the manufacturers, and anyone who
      > underestimates what it takes to make a solar module survive 30 years of
      > continuous exposure to the elements is going to make an expensive mistake.
      >
      > I guarantee it will cost anyone 3X to make their own panel, and you'll still
      > have a vastly inferior product to what is commercially available.
      >
      > Kevin Conlin
      > Heliosolar Design, Inc.
      > 13534 Quetzal Lane
      > Houston, TX 77083
      > C: (281) 202-9629
      > H: (281) 530-7501
      > F: (281) 530-7501
      > kevin@heliosolardes ign.com
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of
      > naturewoman2009
      > Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 3:01 PM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      > Subject: [hreg] Do it yourself Solar Panels
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Here are two sites that give a plethora of information on building your own
      > solar panels. I'm told it's not enough power for the whole home, but it
      > sounds like fun!
      >
      > http://www.freesunp ower.com/ <http://www.freesunpower.com/>
      >
      > Instructables. com (type PV or solar panels in search field)
      >
      > -Pat
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
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