DIY Solar Panels - Making my own.

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Gromett, May 9, 2011.

  1. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    I have made a start on making my own solar panel at last.

    I cut all the tabbing wires tonight which took longer than the soldering did.
    I then tabbed all the cells which was a lot easier than I expected.

    Tomorrow I have to assemble the aluminium frame and buy the glass.

    After that the hard bit which is connecting all the strings and doing the EVA encapsulation.

    I will do a full write up with photo's after I finish. It's proving to be an interesting project so far and I hope I will have a 144Watt panel by the time I am finished.:BigGrin:
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,826
    Likes Received:
    76,097
    Location:
    Sutton on Sea
    Sounds great. Any idea what all the component parts will cost Karl?
     
  3. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    Hot air gun £14
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110653551224

    Soldering Iron (needed a better one) £12
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280622969508

    Aluminium Frame £35.00
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280652721602

    Solar Cell, Tabbing Wire, Flux Pen and Diode £70
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270734053466

    EVA Encapsulation Film £10.35
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260771335777

    MPPT Charger £58.50
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270725736200

    All I have to buy now is cable and Glass. I guess £25 for the rest.

    So about £140 for the panel parts plus tools and carriage for each item.
    I need this one fast so it is going to be ugly as sin. If it works ok the next one I make I will construct a vacuum system to give a better finish.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,417
    Likes Received:
    25,074
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Were the cells as good as you hoped ?
     
  5. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    Much better. The defects are really really small.
     
  6. 1948

    1948 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    surrey
    Look forward to reading it in due course
    good wishes to the project
     
  7. 1Oll

    1Oll Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Have Vacuum Press.

    Hi, I have a large heated (or not). Vacuum press made by Hotpress. We use it for laminating photographs. Based in Macclesfield 5 mins from Hilldweller. What is the thickness and dimensions of the panel for laminating. If it will fit you are welcome to give it a try.
    Regards Brian.
     
  8. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    It's about 1mtr by 1mtr. Probably a little large but thanks for the offer :BigGrin:
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Hi Karl keep us posted on this please
    terry
    have you any plans etc, for making one ? I may have a go myself :Eeek:
     
  10. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    I have started. If I can get the glass today I will finish it today as well I think.

    Karl
     
  11. samany

    samany Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    cheltenham, glos
    How do you guys know all this stuff, I am in the wrong job:cry:
     
  12. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    9,498
    Likes Received:
    5,555
    Location:
    Mansfield,Notts
    Your too busy traveling and playing tennis:Doh:
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Hi Karl go to your local double glazing unit makers :thumb: make sure they give you normal glass and not the solar reflective stuff :Wink:Also if you are using toughened it will take 3 - 4 days to order
    terry
    EDIT they may know of a ali d/g firm that can supply the framing for you or if lucky there skip may have some old secondary glazing panels in it-always worth a look
     
  14. 1Oll

    1Oll Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Cheshire
    It's in inches!

    Vacuum press size 67inches x 41 inches!
     
  15. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    I have found a glass supplier. The glass ideally should be low iron solar glass. This will cost me almost £40 + VAT :(

    41 inches is 104cm. Is that an internal measurement by any chance? I am tempted to take you up on the offer, you are quite a way away from me and it will take 3 hours to get there and 3 to get back plus diesel. I can't make up the strings until I am ready to bond them and I think that will take a few hours so it will be a long day :Doh: How much do you charge?

    Karl
     
  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,417
    Likes Received:
    25,074
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    It all looked so simple. £70 for the cells to make a 140W panel. Let's go.

    I was tempted. But it's not looking good cost wise right now.

    I saw something like £1900 for 10 off 100W panels somewhere, that might be the way to go. Bryan style !
     
  17. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    Yup, it's starting to look a bit marginal on the costs front.
    However I am sure I can get the glass price down or just use normal glass which will be about £10.

    I think it's still possible to do 140 Watt for around £160 which using the wrong glass will lose about 5-7% so say its £160 for 120 watt still comes out quite good in comparison to premade ones.

    If I were starting from scratch again I would probably just go for the premade 80Watt @ £149 and buy one each time I had enough cash. However if I wasn't a full timer and had my workshop again I would make a vacuum machine and make a bunch of these panels. My big problem is not enough space in the van to store while I wait for the glass to be delivered.
     
  18. Terry

    Terry Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    10,722
    Likes Received:
    6,224
    Location:
    South yorks
    Hi Karl, I know next to nowt about solar panels :Rofl1: are the photo cells sandwiched in between to panes of glass or stuck onto a single sheet ?I had a large-ish panel-4ft x 2 ft- about 5 yrs ago ,and if memory is right it was in between 2 sheets.Anyway we had a think about putting it on the van and ended up smashing it in the bin :Doh::BigGrin:If it is in between 2 sheets then the price of glass is approx 20 quid per sq mtr (£10 per sheet) or if you wanted solar glass- that has a coating on to reflect heat that works out at 27 ish per sq mtr-- If you used 1Oll vacuum press I assume that is like a big laminater would that allow you to roll it up and fix it on a curved surface?
    terry
     
  19. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    13,923
    Location:
    UK
    Hmmm, Not going so well on getting the glass. I have been told that I would need 6mm Tempered glass.

    The low iron glass costs £80 :Eeek:

    Normal glass will cost me anywhere between £66 - £80.

    Reading this http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showthread.php?2230-Cost-analysis-of-glass-types There is only 5% difference in the efficiency so I won't be going low iron.

    I am now looking at polycarb/plexiglass etc. Tempered glass will shatter and destroy the panel if caught by a tree.

    Grrr. This is getting complex and potentially expensive :Doh:

    Karl
     
  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,417
    Likes Received:
    25,074
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    I've got that tee-shirt !!
     
Loading...

Share This Page