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DIY Solar Solar Panel

Published on Saturday 11 October 2008
Categories: Solar Power |

After sourcing 50 solar cells from the USA via ebay, I am building a weather proof outdoor solar panel array which should supply enough energy to run the household lighting circuit.

Started work today on building the panel array using 10mm foamx (sourced from a local sign writer www.signimages.co.uk ) and using 2mm perspex and 8mm wooden square section for the panel spacers and braces.

The photo below shows one of the single cells before having link wires soldered to join them together. Each cell should produce approx .5 volts at 3.6 amps.

single solar cell

All the solar panel cells soldered into groups of 6 which should supply 3 volts per row at around 3.5amps

all panels soldered together

Solar panel baseboard made from 10mm foamx with 8mm battens to hold the top away from the solar panels

solar panel baseboard

When the glue on the battens is dry, I will paint the box with dark grey gloss to seal everything and then cut the perspex to fit on the top.

Once the top is ready, I have 4m of 20mm angle alluminum to go around the edges which will be screwed along the sides and sealed with a silicone sealant.

After waiting a day for the painted baseboard to dry, I fitted the solar cells to the board today and soldered interconnecting wires to join them all together in series. Under artifical light the output from the panels was 13.5 volts and once the silicone sealant is dry I will be able to take the panel outdoors to try a test under sunlight!

Half of the cells fitted to the base board:

fitting solar cells

All cells fitted, interconnecting wires fitted and fixed in place with silicone sealant.

cells fixed down using sealant and collect together in series

After waiting a day for the painted baseboard to dry, I fitted the solar cells to the board today and soldered interconnecting wires to join them all together in series. Under artifical light the output from the panels was 13.5 volts and once the silicone sealant is dry I will be able to take the panel outdoors to try a test under sunlight!

Half of the cells fitted to the base board:

fitting solar cells

All cells fitted, interconnecting wires fitted and fixed in place with silicone sealant.

cells fixed down using sealant and collect together in series

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