Anyone have experience making their own solar panels? - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-09-2007, 03:45 PM   #1
Registered Member
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,223
Country: United States
Anyone have experience making their own solar panels?

Scoping out eBay, I found a seller who deals in just the cells. IE he sells them in lots to make a full panel, and from what I can tell, it looks to be about 1/3 the cost of buying a completed panel at full retail (the cost around here, anyway, which is north of $8/watt for the panels I've looked at).

I understand soldering the tabs is the hard part. I do have soldering experience.

Just wondering if anyone has tried it? How'd it turn out? Pitfalls? Advice?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...ME:B:WNA:CA:75
__________________

MetroMPG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2007, 05:04 PM   #2
Tuggin at the surly bonds
 
Silveredwings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 839
Country: United States
I'm not sure what the competitive price for finished PV panels are right now but last time I checked, I think it was about $5 a watt (usd).

The biggest concerns I'd have with doing them myself are:
-heat-damaging them while soldering the leads on them (they're basically silicon).
-picking the right substrate material to mount them on so they aren't damaged from expansion/contraction.
-finding a suitable mounting adhesive.

Maybe there are ready-made answers but I don't know.

One thing I always thought I'd try if I were ever to make my own PV panels is to mount them on something heat conductive and run cooling coils on the back side. This way I could cool them and extract the heat at the same time. I've seen writeups about attempts at PV/thermal hybrid panels and the performance was iffy (in terms of ROI, I think), so I don't know.
__________________

__________________
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Silveredwings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
Registered Member
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,223
Country: United States
I have seen them as low as $5 watt US, but they're usually the big panels - and with solar as with many things, the more you buy, the cheaper it gets.

But I'm just looking for around 30-50w worth. And even if I find a good price (eBay), shipping kills the deal, or they won't ship out of the US, or they only ship UPS which charges egregious customs brokerage fees coming over the border, really killing the deal.

I just read about hybrid panels yesterday. Neat idea.
MetroMPG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2007, 08:32 PM   #4
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 28
Country: United States
this used to be pretty popular on the otherpower.com forum, often with partial broken panels. They used to be a lot cheaper as i understand, and a lot of work to turn into a useable panel. Getting a unit that would stay sealed from moisture seems to be the hardest part. There is a site I've seen that sells broken panels by the pound for an excellent price per watt, but I would have to dig for the link.
tulsa_97sr5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2007, 09:40 PM   #5
Registered Member
 
GasSavers_Ryland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,325
Country: United States
Send a message via AIM to GasSavers_Ryland
PV panals are normaly laminated between layers of low iron safty glass, helping to give them that 35+ year life span, low iron glass (I;'m pretty sure that is what is used) is basicly more clear, so it filters out less of the light, and being temperd, it's really strong, it's what is used in skylights, and windshilds, and it's basicly two layers, simaler to how a windshild is built up, with the PV in the center of that.

I haven't my self soldered any together, but I have friend who did at one point in time, I have a cell that snaped in shiping, it's pretty sweet, they ended up selling them in order to get commercialy made pv panals for their small house.
GasSavers_Ryland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 28
Country: United States
$1.60 per watt is what they say these damaged cells cost - no personal experience with these guys just came across the link someplace. They sell individual non-damaged cells as well -
http://www.siliconsolar.com/Solar-Ce...att-p-106.html
tulsa_97sr5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2007, 10:12 AM   #7
Supporting Member
 
Hockey4mnhs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 760
Country: United States
i know stinkerbutt has some know how on this subject we just need to wait for him to chime in.
__________________
Hockey4mnhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2007, 10:23 AM   #8
Registered Member
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,223
Country: United States
Neat link - thanks Tulsa.

This is something I would dive into pretty much blind if I could find enough cells to make, say, a 15w panel for $30-40.

Doesn't seem too much to spend for the education, and if it works, I've got a panel at 1/3 - 1/2 the best (on sale) retail cost I can find around here.
MetroMPG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
Supporting Member
 
Hockey4mnhs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 760
Country: United States
my house could very easly run on solar ( it was built this way) the hard part is to get my dad to front the cash on it. if you can get it to work that would be a awsome example to show him that it is possible at a somewhat affordable price.
__________________
Hockey4mnhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2007, 11:36 AM   #10
Registered Member
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,223
Country: United States
I've seen this author mentioned a few times in my meandering around the interweb looking for how-to solar info:

http://www.goodideacreative.com/solarpanel.html

Quote:
Build Your Own Solar Panel

by Phillip J. Hurley

Whether you're trying to get off the grid, or you just like to experiment, the
e-book* Build Your Own Solar Panel has all the information you need to build your own photovoltaic panel to generate electricity from the sun. The new 147 page revised and expanded edition has easy-to-follow directions, and over 150 detailed color photos and illustrations. Materials and tools lists, and links to suppliers of PV cells are included. Every-day tools are all that is needed to complete this project.


Available as an e-book PDF download for $12.95
__________________

MetroMPG is offline   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 Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Updating EPA Estimates? Biggberger Fuelly Web Support and Community News 5 04-20-2012 12:57 AM
Tell us about your 'Cash for Clunkers' experience. idrive General Fuel Topics 9 09-26-2009 06:20 AM
CX - D15B8 Question GasSavers_scostanz General Maintenance and Repair 6 01-25-2007 11:28 AM
Custom/Performance tires and wheels for economy? ob1coby General Fuel Topics 7 01-12-2007 10:22 PM
The band CAKE Matt Timion General Discussion (Off-Topic) 12 05-23-2006 06:35 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.