Re: Building solar panels from loose cells
I agree with Niel,
I have been crunching the numbers on this issue for a couple years. My goal is focused on about a 90-100 watt panel. Every time I see a deal on cells, i try the math once again. If you want to put a panel together for fun and learning, by all means go ahead. Yes you can make a panel for less the retail pricing. But please remember that most surplus cells available to us regular folks are usually only rated about 1.5 - 2 amps or so. I'm starting to see may cells for sale on ebay and from several surplus electronic suppliers, but again, most cell are lower rated.
I have quite a bit of aluminum and glass in my shop, drops from commercial work. Even with using that material, I just couldn't get close to an apples to apples comparable size panel for much less money.
Again on ebay, they are also serveral sellers listing the tedlar and eva encapsulating products. These are good products to use, but drive up the cost of a home built panel.
If anyone can steer me in the direction of some high output cells at a competitive cost, I would be very interested. I do want to make some panels myself, but considering the output ratings and warranties offered by the big guys, I just can't see it worthwhile right now.
System: 2kw Kyocera KC130's, OutbackMX60 controller, SW4024, Trimetric metering, 24 volt Hawker Powersafe AGM
Backup: 1-ProSine 2.0, grid charged 12 volt GNB AGM battery, 15kw Diesel Genset