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home made solar panels are a bad idea.

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  • Jim & Janet
    Robert, I wasn t intending to be harsh, I was genuinely concerned about the possibility of someone building their own PV modules. I first heard about the fire
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 5, 2009
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      Robert, I wasn't intending to be harsh, I was genuinely concerned about the possibility of someone building their own PV modules.
      I first heard about the fire from a PV installers discussion site. At least one California installer knew where the fire happened and contacted the homeowner to find out who installed a system of such crummy design. (Other pictures circulate showed a poorly designed mounting structure that probably reflected sub-standard workmanship start to finish) The owners refused to name the responsible party and declined to discuss the matter further.
      As for the book Priyanka mentioned, it too has been reviewed by professionals (though not me) and is very misleading as to the "simple" process and the implication that the modules will generate an equivalent amount of power compared to similar sized commercially manufactured modules. Another DIY manual suggested mounting the silicon PV cells on plywood, a flammable and totally inappropriate substrate!
      I apologize if I appeared angry, I am only relating the facts from a concerned professional PV installers perspective.
      best regards
       
      Jim Duncan
      North Texas Renewable Energy Inc
      817.917.057
      ntrei@...
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 5:17 AM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] home made solar panels are a bad idea.

      Hi Jim,


      Don't be so harsh on Priyank!. Building your own PV module is a great learning experience and I learned a lot building my own back in the '80's when I started in PV.  Usually the same solar companies selling the quality factory built modules are the same ones selling their reject cells to do it youselfers and developing countries (e.g., SuniSolar in Nicaragua uses landmine victims to build their own - it's a great program). You need to get on the suppliers case for selling reject cells.

      But yes, you will never be able to achieve the same quality as factory built and they cannot be used legally in commercial installations in the U.S. 

      If the do it yourself modules are used at lower voltages (e.g. 12 V), they do not represent a danger. It's when they are used at higher voltages on grid-tied systems that problems arise like the example (although rare) that you cited.

      Take care,

      Robert Foster

      On Mar 2, 2009, at 8:52 PM, Jim & Janet wrote:

      Priyanks
      there is a reason that commercial solar PV modules are so expensive, they are manufactured to meet very strict safety standards. I have attached a picture, it will be scrubbed by the HREG/yahoo site but it will go to you personally. You may want to post it on the Yahoo HREG site for all to see.
      It's a picture of some home made PV panels. The rain caused them to short and catch fire. As you can see, the clear covering on the modules melted; it's not even glass.
      The jerk who wrote that book has sold hundreds, maybe thousands, of copies and any number of people who have built their own are at risk of fire, electric shock or, if they are lucky, finding the modules just quit working.
      The UL certification  mean the device that carries the stamp has been tested in drastic conditions of hot-cold, wet-dry, flexing and any number of abusive conditions. Please don't waste your money on the book. Besides any corporation, for profit or non, would be taking a huge risk by not obeying local building and electrical codes and installing those.
      I'm not slamming you personally Priyanks, please don't take it that way. I am just very worried about the proliferation of information like this in a time that people are looking for ways to save money.
       
      thanks
      Jim Duncan
      North Texas Renewable Energy Inc
      817.917.0527
      ntrei@earthlink. net
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 4:42 PM
      Subject: [hreg]

      Hi!

      Has anyone bought this book and build their own solar panel? I want to install Solar Panels for the animal Sanctuary but can't afford the gouing market rate. So I thought I will build one myself and found this site and few reviews saying its a good detailed book. What's your opinion? www.Green4Energy. com

      thanks

      Priyanka
      Priyanka Johri - 832-277-3577 
      Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary - www.PureMuttsAnimal Sanctuary. com
      Virtual real Estate - www.GreenHomesEcRea lty.com

      Indus Valley Yoga - www.IndusValleyYoga .com




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