DIY Solar Panels

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Terra, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Has anyone had a go at building there own panels from new / recyled components , might be a handy skill to learn . I would like to have a go .
    Rob.
     
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Hi Rob,

    Are you talking about solar-thermal panels to heat air/water?
     
  3. purecajn

    purecajn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Self Employed / Semi-retired
    Location:
    Westlake, Louisiana
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical, Zone 9
  4. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The instructable site is fantastic ive been their before you can get lost for hours .
     
  5. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I know you can get broken solar panel wafers, and resolder them to make your own. Sans that, good luck, keep us posted.
     
  6. Wolf_rt

    Wolf_rt Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Your post got me interested, and i found this site, which has quite good instructions.
    https://www.thebackshed.com/windmill/articles/OzSolarPanels.asp

    you will need a 'oven' big enough for your panel (a insulated box with a fan heater)

    and a vacuum pump, which is easily made out of an old fridge compressor.

    the cells are available on e-bay for approx 75c per watt. And you will also need ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) plastic sheet. From a plastics supplier. And toughened glass, preferably iron free (available from old solar hot water systems)

    Seems pretty easy all in all.
     
  7. Stuk

    Stuk Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "And toughened glass, preferably iron free" yes the glass used on solar panels is not your average glass, it has something to do with light/ uv transfer, and as Pakanohida said you can by broken wafers. As a matter of interest a mate of mine fixed an 80w panel he got from the dump, that had water leaked into it causing corrosion of the solder links where the cells are all soldered into series.

    He got the panel and smashed the glass with a hammer and nail and re-soldered all the joints then re-sealed the whole thing with polymer resin the same sort of gear they use on fishing rods to seal the binding and give it that "glass look" I dident think it would work as i thought there would be issues with uv transfer but .......... no worries it worked like a beauty at full output!
     
  8. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I had a friend who did this once. Got a deal on a bunch of broken cells, and meticulously soldered them and stuck them onto an old window with dots of silicone. Then he glued a sheet of fiberglass to the back, caulked all around. The panels worked good for about three years and then started to lose power and show evidence of dampness getting in. This was in a humid climate (Georgia, USA). I guess one would really have to crunch serious numbers on it to figure out if it was a deal after all. I have never heard of commercial panels wearing out like that...most are warranted for something like 25 years. I guess part of the tossup is how much one values reliability, versus having a system one has to periodically, and unexpectedly, haul apart and tinker with to keep working. Eco-footprint wise, using the old stuff is probably hands-down better, since it's likely on it's way to the landfill anyway. But there is also the value of one's time to consider, and what else one could be doing (what I call the eco-handprint)...
     

Share This Page

-->