Hey guys,

All the same reasons apply for why the site isn't as active recently. I am working on site related stuff daily, please be patient if you care!

This post is the first in a series dedicated to my DIY Solar Panel Project.
The aim of this project is to build, utilise and maintain solar panels made in the cheapest, safest and most environmentally friendly way possible! To do this I will hopefully be recycling (I'm counting buying pre-owned or broken materials as recycling because it's not buying new things when it can be avoided), buying products locally and using knowledge from anyone with useful information willing to give it out for free, whether it be friends, family, amateurs or professionals.

Step One: Acquisition of materials

NB: Solar "panels" and solar "cells" are the same thing, solar panels are groups of solar cells that have already been connected together.

So I've done the main thing (if I've not been scammed by internet fraudsters) which is buying solar cells. I couldn't find anyone selling solar cells locally, especially not "broken" cells; cells which are physically broken into smaller pieces but essentially still work as intended (If you're not sure how solar cells work, I will be doing an article about this soon! Check out the articles section under media in the sitemap above).
Therefore I purchased 2KG of solar cells from ebay auctioneers that seemed trustworthy (highly rated on ebay, according to both the ebay guidelines and the advice of friends who use ebay frequently). The cells are labelled as broken but still working perfectly, which basically means they are cracked or not whole pieces of solar panels ie, bits of each panel have chipped off. The weight of the cells is irrelevant as only the surface area effects how much power the cells produce and each kilogram of cells should, in good conditions, produce over 300 Watts of energy and with the 2KG I have bought, I should be able to produce over 600W, in good conditions, quite easily.

Watts means Joules (unit of energy) per second. So in a system producing 600W I should gain 600J every second to charge my battery system (explained later).

The next step in gaining materials, is gaining necessary resources with which to construct a suitable frame in which the solar cells would sit. Solar panels are extremely fragile and, as explained above, although this does not effect the usefulness of each cell, if parts break, they must be reconnected to the electrical circuit (simple explanation coming soon about circuits) in order to work and this requires more materials. Placing the panels within a frame means they become more resilient to damage, possibly from weather.
The materials I hope to build my frame from is either metal, wood or plastic. I hope to be able to recycle all the materials by claiming them from scrap yards where they would possibly be put in landfills with other non recycleable waste (which is not all non recycleable) or recycled into other things anyway. I hope not to waste as much as I can and any materials I don't use will be given to some sort of recycling centre, if possible, or donated to others for use, if they request it.

The final step in acquiring materials will be getting hold of all the electrical componenets such as batteries (I'm not certain what type I will use but am looking into recycling old, disused but working, car batteries), wires and solder (to link all of the components together), a diode (which will stop the battery discharging when it's not charging ie, when the solar panels are not charging the battery, the battery will retain the energy it has gained during charging), components which make it possible to plug household appliances into the system safely (I'm still researching this, but it is definitely possible and has been done many times in DIY projects before) and the tools to make all the materials useable and safe (hopefully I can borrow tools for free, locally to save resources; also proving that sharing things you don't plan on using all the time isn't inconvenient, in fact owning things I won't use all the time is an inconcenience ie, if I buy tools, I've wasted money and materials because the tools will sit unused for prolonged periods of time in which they could be serving a purpose for someone else)


I will keep you updated on the progress of this project as it happens. The current estimated delivery time for my first load of solar panels is 30th March 2012 (Less than a week from now) and I should be going to a scrap yard this week if all goes well!

Views: 175

Comment

You need to be a member of I Power to add comments!

Join I Power

Latest Activity

steve hein replied to azra's discussion Emotional Intelligence (free e-book)
"Here is part of what he says... “Proximal Separation is when a parent is physically there but emotionally unavailable, because they're too stressed and too distracted. That's what my children experienced when they were small…"
18 hours ago
steve hein liked The Shiznit's video
18 hours ago
steve hein commented on The Shiznit's video
Thumbnail

Dr Gabor Maté - Why Capitalism Makes Us Sick

"I am listening to this now. I am 17 minutes in. It is one of the best talks I have heard in a long time. Finally someone with some credibility because of their credentials who sees cause and effect. He says a lot of things I have been saying for…"
18 hours ago
Profile IconCamilo Sebastián Ponce Arenas, steve hein, Cycle and 6 more joined I Power
19 hours ago
The Shiznit replied to steve hein's discussion Hello and questioni
"Hi Steve. I'm the lead admin for ipower and i have kicked people off the site before for "spamming" links to their own stuff. It's always a judgement call on a case by case basis for how to handle things like that, and it helps…"
19 hours ago
The Shiznit replied to azra's discussion Emotional Intelligence (free e-book)
19 hours ago
steve hein posted a discussion

Hello and questioni

hi everyone -- i found this forum because someone recommended a book of mine once and i happened to find it today but the link was broken so i joined to update it.but also it looks like an interesting placemy question is, does anyone know if i can…See More
19 hours ago
steve hein replied to azra's discussion Emotional Intelligence (free e-book)
"Hi - Thanks for talking about my work and sharing it. Here is the updated link for the EQ for Everybody book  mentioned here and also some other free pdfs from my site. http://core.eqi.org/free_pdfs_from_eqi.htm Steve "
19 hours ago
steve hein updated their profile
19 hours ago
Henrico's discussion was featured

Problems signing in or Registering on the site? READ THIS.

This announcement is for the oldlings and newbies alike.If you are having problems signing in or even registering (it's taking too long to have your registration approved), you can join our community on Google until the website is fully…See More
23 hours ago
The Shiznit commented on Henrico's event IPower Kings Reunion!
"Everything Joey said is exactly true - from start to finish. I don't think i've ever agreed with him so much over anything else before today. :)"
23 hours ago
Henrico's event was featured
Thumbnail

IPower Kings Reunion! at IPower Kingdom

June 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016
Hello Everyone!Now you guys can join the IPower 3.0 experience using your Google Account! Get back in touch with your old friends! Call them! Let them come!And if you're new here, there's no better place to start!Soon it will grow, member by…See More
23 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Reese Leysen.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service