The FAL Files  

Go Back   The FAL Files > Discussion Forums > Survival & Preparedness

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old October 28, 2007, 19:12   #1
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
How to build your own solar panel

There is nothing hard about building your own panel. When I started I even bought an on line book. Having built a few we are going to build a basic 35 watt panel and show you some options along the way.

Items on the shopping list.

Solar Cells
1/4" hard board
Connecting strips
Small soldering iron (20-25 watt please)
Solder
Wire
Caulking
3/32 glass

These are the basics that will get you going.

All solar cells are about .5 volts each. Now if you break the cell in half each half will still have .5 volts. In order to charge a 12V system you need to start with about 18V or 36 cells wired in series. The back of the cell is + and the front is -

The bigger the cell (for the most part) the the more current (amps) or power (watts) it will make. Also understand that as you lose the sun the voltage will drop and this is why you start with 18V. A good panel will still make power on a somewhat overcast day.

The 35 watt panel we are building is 14x33" It uses 1.5"X 6" cells. I get my cells from member Fred480v on Ebay. 1.5"X 6" or 3" X3" are $50 I have purchased more than one batch at a time from him for $40 each bundle of 36 and that made the shipping free.

These cells are not perfect but at the cost per watt we are not going to complain. To buy panels you are looking at $5-$7 a watt. We can build for $2 a watt.

First up. The cells. you see the front and back. That white pad on the back is our + terminal and the white stripes on the front are our - terminal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 097 (600 x 450).jpg (53.9 KB, 2490 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)

Last edited by jerrymrc; October 29, 2007 at 13:12.
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28, 2007, 20:36   #2
Wil-C
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 17357
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 465
Absolutely keep this going, I definitely want to learn how to do this. Any source other than ebay for basic cells? $2 a watt, that makes it so much more affordable. This will be a 12V system I guess?
__________________
"A gun is a tool" .....Shane.
Wil-C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28, 2007, 20:56   #3
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now you must tin both the front and back and our connecting strips. You can buy the strips or since I had some copper foil around that is what I used. I cut it into 1/8" X 2" and tin it. I have already cut my hard board to 14"X 33" I have painted one side with paint and I would suggest that you use white or silver since the panel will get warm and any area that does not have a cell on it is in direct sunlight.

One thing about size. You can make your panel as big as you want but one thing I keep in mind is that I buy the glass at Home Depot and the sizes offered determine my panel size. I do cut my glass to fit but it starts out as 18"X 36"

The cells are very thin and very brittle handle with care. I have a small piece of MDF that is flat to put on the work bench. Tinned leads.

Pics to follow since the server is having issues. Stay tuned.
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 13:07   #4
0007
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 8922
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: back in the States for a while
Posts: 1,212
I must be missing something here. I see 36 cells @$40/cell(best price). That equals $1440 in cell costs. Divided by the 35 watt output and we have $41/watt. That's a very long way from the estimated cost of $2.00/watt that was in the orginal post.
I'm sure I have missed something somewhere. Unless you mean you are buying enough to do one panel at that price.

Got it, thanks. Ifigured that's where you were going, but my brain wasn't processing the data.
__________________
Oderint dum Metuant -
Back in the USA
again

Last edited by 0007; October 30, 2007 at 11:23.
0007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 13:13   #5
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Quote:
Originally posted by 0007
I must be missing something here. I see 36 cells @$40/cell(best price). That equals $1440 in cell costs. Divided by the 35 watt output and we have $41/watt. That's a very long way from the estimated cost of $2.00/watt that was in the orginal post.
I'm sure I have missed something somewhere. Unless you mean you are buying enough to do one panel at that price.
I have edited my post to reflect that the $40 is for a bundle of 36. Sorry for the confusion.

This will be for a 12V system. I have no other source at this time for cells.
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:19   #6
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
OK back to the panel. We need to tin the cells and attach our strips. I work in pairs of cells. I solder 2 together and attach to the board. Now we are doing a series circuit. + to - to + to - This means we need to go from the top of on to the bottom of the other.

When building this 18X18 cell panel one side will start with a + at the top and the other wth a - at the top. You will see in a few posts. OK tinned wire.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 104 (600 x 450).jpg (67.9 KB, 2375 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:25   #7
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Cells that are tinned and with leads attached. I must stress that when you are soldering on the cells to be very light and very quick. This is why some of my soldering does not look the best. I do not want to put allot of heat into the cell as this may damage it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 105 (600 x 450).jpg (42.0 KB, 2363 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:40   #8
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now lets put the two together. I turn them over and place them about a 1/4 inch apart. Next I put a small crimp in the leads so as to not have the leads pull apart when the sun hits it and it expands. You just need a little slack between the cells.

I use a drill bit or jewelers screwdriver to lift the lead up and then push it down to get my slack. The two cells soldered together and ready to mount on the board. Remember bottom to top to bottom.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 108 (600 x 450).jpg (58.7 KB, 2355 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:49   #9
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Time to mount them on the board. I mark the center and just start at the top. I lay the cells on the board and mark the corners. Then remove and lay an 1/8" bead of caulk. I run the bead around just inside the edge and then a zig-zag in the center. This gives the cell some support and a cushion.

Lay the two cells back on the caulk and gently set into the caulk and position.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 101 (600 x 450).jpg (73.1 KB, 2345 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:56   #10
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
with the cells set into the caulk and ready to be soldered into the panel. Also notice that the top cell has no tabs sticking out of it. That means that the top of that row is Negative. The next row that we place WILL have the leads sticking out of it to mate up with the other side.

You can start any row any way you wish but you just turn your completed 2 cell group upside down for the next row. This will be clearer in a few posts.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 102 (600 x 450).jpg (85.0 KB, 2346 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 16:59   #11
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now we need to connect the two pairs together. just tin and solder. This is the slow part of building. I do about 3-4 pairs in a night and take a break. Do not forget to put your crimp in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 103 (600 x 450).jpg (91.8 KB, 2309 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 17:06   #12
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
I like to check my work every couple of cells. If you check under the lights in house or garage you will only see Millivolts and if you know what your looking for that is fine. I like to check in the sunlight because it makes it so much easier.

4 cells at .5 volts apiece = 2 volts Yep. Any $5 Voltmeter from Harbor Frieght will do.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 109 (600 x 450).jpg (75.6 KB, 2312 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 17:12   #13
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now at the top of the panel you have two rows of 18 cells and you need to hook them together. We make a buss to connect the two sides. You can use lead strips or wire but if you use wire you must attach it to the board.

Here are my two sides showing one side has leads on the top and one on the bottom with the strip that will connect them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 112 (600 x 450).jpg (65.9 KB, 2298 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29, 2007, 17:17   #14
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
All soldered up. Also notice that one side starts out + to - and the other is - to +

When you get to the end of each row you will have one side with the leads sticking out of the bottom and one with the leads on the top. It will be a couple of days before we continue so I can finish this part and answer any questions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 113 (600 x 450).jpg (63.4 KB, 2293 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 02, 2007, 18:39   #15
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Just about ready to continue this. Need a couple more days and this will pick back up again. I had a issue I had to attend to the last few days.
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 02, 2007, 18:55   #16
AndyC
Porridge Wog
Contributor
 
AndyC's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 19755
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Euless, TX
Posts: 10,997
Fascinating - I've always been curious about this, but never done it. Please continue when you can, Jerry
__________________
My Iraq Pics

Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club
AndyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 03, 2007, 18:47   #17
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Tomorrow we will finish the electrical connections, Install the gasket, cut the glass and seal it up. Here is where we are at.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 114 (450 x 600).jpg (72.4 KB, 2189 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:03   #18
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
So now we have a bunch of cells mounted on a piece of wood. Fire the electric company and kick back..... Yea...Right. Let's see how we did. 36 cells at .5V each says 18V. Meter says we have a few more than that.

I did an Amp check and into a slightly discharged battery and was showing 1.85 amps and that is a little more than our 35 watt target.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 122 (500 x 375).jpg (99.1 KB, 2159 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:07   #19
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now let us hook up the lower buss. I have attached the two sides and ready to hook it all up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 115 (600 x 450).jpg (76.3 KB, 2137 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:11   #20
rochte
Veteran Member
Contributor
 
FALaholic #: 16305
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Grosse Pointe, MI
Posts: 1,408
Great thread... Thanks for sharing and please, keep telling us more!

I'm curious to know how the cost per watt of these cells (and the completed panel) compares to the amorphous panels at Harbour Freight.

On sale, their 14"x3" (or so) panel can be purchased for $15 - it had enough juice to run a DC/DC converter, GPS and APRS tracker in full sun (the smallest shadow, though, knocked it out). Not sure the actual ratings of the panel.
rochte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:12   #21
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
At this point I drill a hole, tin and solder my leads to the buss. I just use a few feet of wire but you could mount a box with connections on the other side if you wish. A twin banana plug would be nice or just a set of speaker terminals would work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 116 (600 x 450).jpg (78.0 KB, 2094 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:15   #22
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Gasket time. I use 1/8" rubber gasket and give it about 1/8 gap from the sides. This works very well to cushion the glass that is coming next.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 117 (600 x 450).jpg (75.1 KB, 2083 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:17   #23
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Gasket in place. having adhesive on one side makes it a snap and one package will do 2 of our panels.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 118 (600 x 450).jpg (71.3 KB, 2075 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:18   #24
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
close-up of the gasket and buss.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 119 (600 x 450).jpg (71.2 KB, 2061 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:22   #25
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Now for more fun and games. I get my glass at Home Depot and it is about $9 for the piece. I like glass allot better than acrylic but to each his own. More in awhile stay tuned.....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 120 (600 x 450).jpg (52.8 KB, 2056 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 13:22   #26
jimbeam
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 7203
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: SC
Posts: 476
TAG
jimbeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 14:12   #27
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
So here we are cutting the glass. No magic involved. mark, score and tap.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 123 (600 x 450).jpg (44.4 KB, 2054 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 14:17   #28
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Well ya knew there had to be a snag somewhere. I had the glass cut and looking good. When I started cleaning the glass prior to putting it on the panel it slid over and hit one of the pieces that I had just cut off. Of course I hit it right on the corner. Well, enough for one day.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 124 (600 x 450).jpg (59.7 KB, 2043 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:18   #29
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Not going to let a little glass issue stop me. OK, once you get your glass cut and in position you should have a 1/8" gap all the way around. Fill this with caulk and smooth over. When done it should look like this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 125 (600 x 450).jpg (37.3 KB, 2031 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:19   #30
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Another view of the glass install after the sealer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 126 (600 x 450).jpg (56.5 KB, 2029 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:29   #31
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
So now we have a sealed panel and if all you wanted to do was stick it in the window you could. Ours is going to live life a little more harsh than that. If yours is going to see some rain now is the time to paint the back and edges with paint.

I seal mine up using automotive primer and paint until it is fully sealed.

We need to protect the panel and give you something to mount to if need be. I use 3/4 X3/4" aluminum angle. I drill and countersink the holes and use 1/4" wood screws.

Cut the 45's to fit and test.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 127 (600 x 450).jpg (57.6 KB, 2019 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:31   #32
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
At this point lay a good 1/4" or better bead of caulk right in the corner of the angle. I have already drilled my holes for the screws.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 129 (600 x 450).jpg (57.6 KB, 2006 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:41   #33
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
I put the bead of caulk into the corner of the angle and push each section in until I get it positioned. Some of the caulk will come out the top because I made the angles just a little bigger than the panel.

Once this has set for 10 min or so I slide the panel over the edge and install the screws from underneath pressing on the sides watching as I go to make sure the everything is lined up.

Once done with that I lay a bead on the top side to finish sealing the glass to the frame.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 128 (450 x 600).jpg (75.7 KB, 2005 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:43   #34
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
with the top side sealed up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 131 (450 x 600).jpg (70.5 KB, 1996 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 04, 2007, 20:56   #35
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
A view of the back side. If you panel is going to be mounted on a stand I would double the amount of screws on the backside and put corners on it. You can use the left over angle and cut 3/4" long sections and use short metal screws to tie the corners together.

I use a BP charge controller so as not to overcharge the batteries. You can buy a 10 amp one for $29 or so and that would handle 4 panels.

You can build panels as big or small as you want. I will be building a solar Ni-Cd battery charger from the scraps of this project since when I ordered the 2 sets of 36 cells I received 76 total and also have some others from another project.

Just remember if you build a 200 watt panel and something goes wrong you have lost 200 watts. If you have 6 35 watt panels and one goes bad you have only lost 35 watts. The panel is now done. Any questions?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg picture 132 (450 x 600).jpg (63.5 KB, 1998 views)
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 06, 2007, 09:34   #36
mosbysmen
Senior Member
Moderator
 
mosbysmen's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 782
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: louisana
Posts: 2,371
truly a excellent post , thank you .
how big of a bank are you planning on building ?
planning on printing this out ..
__________________
fio para bellator
be the prepared warrior

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain




"when you have integrity..... nothing else matters
when you don't have integrity.... nothing else matters"
Teach The Children This Simple Principle.... Bob Kelly

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride
l
mosbysmen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 06, 2007, 10:36   #37
Sig220
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 11622
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: SE Texas
Posts: 5,009
I may answer my own question, but will still ask it!!!

Why do you use glass instead of plastic?

I am terrible around breakable things and think the glass would not last long with my type of use!!!

My answer is that glass is easier to keep transparent and clean.......doesn't scratch or fog like a plastic will do. I am still worried that if I use glass, it will be broken in a week!!!

My other comment is applicability, I have been looking at a homebuilt solar charger for some 6 volt rechargable batterys that power some low watt lights during darkness. Would I need a controller on that as well, or just hook up a panel and let it run??

My guess is 12 or 14 of the panels would work on that 6 volt system, is that a correct guess?
__________________
Sometimes you are the bug.....sometimes the windshield.
Sig220 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old November 06, 2007, 19:49   #38
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Quote:
Originally posted by Sig220
I may answer my own question, but will still ask it!!!

Why do you use glass instead of plastic?

I am terrible around breakable things and think the glass would not last long with my type of use!!!

My answer is that glass is easier to keep transparent and clean.......doesn't scratch or fog like a plastic will do. I am still worried that if I use glass, it will be broken in a week!!!

My other comment is applicability, I have been looking at a homebuilt solar charger for some 6 volt rechargable batterys that power some low watt lights during darkness. Would I need a controller on that as well, or just hook up a panel and let it run??

My guess is 12 or 14 of the panels would work on that 6 volt system, is that a correct guess?
I like the glass because of the above reasons and I find that the thinner lexan sheets will warp in the sun.

You could use this for 6V circuits by turning this into a series-parallel circuit. Take each row and hook them up separate and then tie them together. 18 cells give about 9 volts and that is what you would want.

I do not know if they make a 6v controller but you could tie them together with a jumper and use a 12v controller to charge both at the same time.
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22, 2008, 11:00   #39
GreyMan
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 10254
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 44
I have a video I bought from eBay which goes over this process as well. In the video, the guy vents his panel, as he says his have fogged up no matter how dry the wood, how well he's sealed it, etc.

Have you had any problem with fogging with your panels?

Stay Safe,
AGreyMan
GreyMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22, 2008, 21:16   #40
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Quote:
Originally posted by GreyMan
I have a video I bought from eBay which goes over this process as well. In the video, the guy vents his panel, as he says his have fogged up no matter how dry the wood, how well he's sealed it, etc.

Have you had any problem with fogging with your panels?

Stay Safe,
AGreyMan
No, I have never had one fog but I do live in a dry area. If I did have an issue I think I would treat it like double pane glass and put silica beads in it.

That was an idea I had but have never had to use it. It would not hurt to do this anyway since I have a bunch of packets. Just tack a few at the top and bottom. One thing I do do is use automotive paint to seal the wood. a few coats of urethane primer and a good topcoat is waterproof.

Just a few thoughts.
__________________
Owner of the worlds lightest Fal. 5.8lbs. :)
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25, 2008, 17:32   #41
ALL FAL
Registered
Contributor
 
FALaholic #: 24447
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,755
Hey Jerry, I have found that windshield urethane kits make the very toughest seals, and the urethane is great for many uses at home.

Thank you very much for your fine work here on this important topic.
__________________
The Future is ALWAYS Open!!

An ARMED society is a POLITE society.
ALL FAL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21, 2008, 20:58   #42
mosbysmen
Senior Member
Moderator
 
mosbysmen's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 782
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: louisana
Posts: 2,371
jerry ,
i have read where some pannels have signifacant power output drops after the
first year ,have you noticed anything like that in your pannels ,
how about a picture of the whole system
__________________
fio para bellator
be the prepared warrior

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain




"when you have integrity..... nothing else matters
when you don't have integrity.... nothing else matters"
Teach The Children This Simple Principle.... Bob Kelly

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride
l
mosbysmen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 30, 2010, 23:51   #43
big44man
No longer lonesome
Silver Contributor
 
big44man's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 44868
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Virginia Beach VA
Posts: 479
Any updates on how things have been running after almost a year and a half??
__________________
Government is like salt.
A small amount is necessary, but as the amount grows,
it becomes increasingly bitter, and will eventually kill you.
NRA Instructor Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun. CCW Instructor.
big44man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31, 2010, 09:03   #44
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Quote:
Originally posted by big44man
Any updates on how things have been running after almost a year and a half??
If the sun comes out today I will drag one out and see what the output is. I have had a little fogging on the first one but I think I am going to add some desiccant, flood the panel with N2 and seal it back up.
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31, 2010, 16:28   #45
jerrymrc
Registered
 
jerrymrc's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 2331
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 4,893
Still a little haze but even in January I got 1.76 A out of the oldest panel under a load. No load voltage is 20 so all in all it is in good shape.

I have purchased more cells so I just need to get off my ass and build them (along with everything else).
jerrymrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31, 2011, 14:34   #46
mosbysmen
Senior Member
Moderator
 
mosbysmen's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 782
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: louisana
Posts: 2,371
how about a picture of your system
__________________
fio para bellator
be the prepared warrior

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain




"when you have integrity..... nothing else matters
when you don't have integrity.... nothing else matters"
Teach The Children This Simple Principle.... Bob Kelly

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride
l
mosbysmen is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:31.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
©1998-2012 The FAL Files