SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

easytim
easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    If you want the fun of making your own small panels and solar powered toyes to play around with--go ahead--would be great for a science class--they can even take the projects home if you get the cells cheap enough.

    If you are planning on making a 200 watt panel for use in the weather over the next 20+ years--don't waste your time or money...

    0.5 volt * 3 amp = 1.5 watts... A retail price per watt for a finished panel is approximately $5-$10 per watt (large/high volume to small low volume panels).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    HIGH GRADE - Cells

    36 New Solar Cells 0.55 Volt 4.2 Amp Build your own!


    http://cgi.ebay.com/36-New-Solar-Cells-0-55-Volt-4-2-Amp-Build-your-own_W0QQitemZ350083363005QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350083363005&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A3&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318

    I really do think it can be done with some careful thought:)

    0.5 volt * 4.2 amp = 2.1 watts




    .
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    with those cells you are already up to $2.51/w and you haven't gotten to the special glass, frames, sealants, etc. you might as well get some blems or 2nds from sunelec.com as you will certainly go over the prices they have in your trying to make one and that's not counting any cells you'd break or the poor glass you may get and so on. you won't match a commercial pv's quality or ability for the costs and labor you'd put into it.
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay? CHECK THIS OUT

    Heres a guy that built his own solar panels using that same solar cells that are now selling on e-bay right now below.
    36 New Solar Cells 0.55 Volt 4.2 Amp Build your own!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/36-New-Solar-Cells-0-55-Volt-4-2-Amp-Build-your-own_W0QQitemZ350083363005QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350083363005&_trkparms=39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A3&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1318


    ITS TITLED

    How I built an electricity producing Solar Panel
    It was easy.
    You can do it too

    http://www.mdpub.com/SolarPanel/index.html


    Building your own gives you a great way to also repair your own and I like the idea of maintaining your own. A cell goes bad, just replace it, I like that idea alot.
    The only thing I think I might change is I would use treated particle board,

    .
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    look, you can do whatever you want to do, but i'm telling you that you can't match it and what you showed me in that link did not match it either. wood warps and rots and plexiglass is not glass and does not pass sunlight even as well as standard window glass would. believe me the glass on commercial pvs is clearer than window glass too as many metalic impurities are kept to a minimum. the commercial units have special sealers too to keep out condensation and that will form inside that homemade pv. garbage in, garbage out.
    no matter what, it is cheaper and of better quality to go with a commercial pv. they know what they are doing and you can't do it for the same price they can even if you learned what needs to be done.
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay? CHECK THIS OUT
    easytim wrote: »
    Heres a guy that built his own solar panels using that same solar cells that are now selling on e-bay right now

    Easy enough to do for a weekend trip in the desert. And I wonder what his labor hours were? But, if it works, and he's happy, that's good
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • DagoRanch
    DagoRanch Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Is it a fun project? Sure could be. But the one thing that many people forget in their cost savings is TIME.

    Now if he was to figure in the time it took him to plan and actually build the panel, de-wax and dry the cells, solder all the cells together.... he saved nothing and would probably go over the price of a SUPERIOR panel that will be warrantied for like 20+ years.

    If you got the time and like to tinker... go for it. :cool:
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    I'm now a laid off Auto Worker (electrician) with too much time on my hands. If anyone reading this message would like to try to build a better panel without using wood or has a better idea please let me know.

    I'm willing to try anything that I think will work and would like to make it a joint project with someone who like to build things, I'm open to any ideas.

    I thought of buying a used double pane sliding door and using the glass from it to consruct a couple of solar panels might work. I know these used doors can get pretty cheap used, I have seen them around town, its the framing that needs working on.

    Another idea here -it under Using Homemade Solar Panels
    http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/6272_saving-energy-solar-power.htm

    This guy got this at Harbor Freight - It inspires me a little http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_P9XDKQP34&feature=related




    .
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    I did get a reply, take your a factory built solar panel to a glass company and have them match the framing. Having for a small quality job like this done could be hard to find.

    I don't think they will be able to match it, but they might come close.
  • al128
    al128 Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    sorry for your job-loss ... Whilst I tend to agree with the others (there's no cheap way to build a good PV, a good mechanical watch or a good welding machine) - it makes for a good project, keeps your mind busy, hey and might even look good on a CV, esp. in EV times.

    if you go for it - pls document it w/ pics...

    cheers
    al

    ps: do you know www.ecomodder.com -> the fossil fuel free forum might be interesting to you
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    ;)Thanks Al, economy is slow right now.

    The bad thing about building your own solar panel is keeping the moisture out. If I could find a glass company that would fill it with gas it might work. I can get the glass from old glass sliding doors. Another idea that was brought to my attention is use a strong plastic serving tray (see picture below) as a base, they do sell a larger tray @ $16.00 per tray, you could chaulk the cells directly to the tray, then put a piece of glass over it with the corners rounded to fit down on it, then seal the glass to tray, with the same type of chaulk they use to seal windows with. Its just alot of talk right now, it sounds good, but doing it is another story.

    If there is a way to seal it (see picture below with innert gas added under pressure), and somehow add a little valve on it so a vacuum can be pulled then filled with the innert gas.

    Whats needed is window guru who knows how to put gas in a sealed area.

    HELP WANTED : WINDOW GURU WANTED :p





    When condensation forms inside of an IGU (Insulating Glass Unit) it means that there is a rupture in the seal and that air and moisture has penetrated the space.

    People have claimed that they can install a one-way valve in the IGU that will allow moisture to escape and dry out the interior of the space – thus eliminating moisture-caused condensation between the two pieces of glass and in my case it would be between the glass and the tray.


    Does anyone know anything about this one way valve?

    .

    al128 wrote: »
    sorry for your job-loss ... Whilst I tend to agree with the others (there's no cheap way to build a good PV, a good mechanical watch or a good welding machine) - it makes for a good project, keeps your mind busy, hey and might even look good on a CV, esp. in EV times.

    if you go for it - pls document it w/ pics...

    cheers
    al

    ps: do you know www.ecomodder.com -> the fossil fuel free forum might be interesting to you
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    .



    This is a picture of a serving tray that was used to mount solar cells.

    Its a pretty cool idea:cool:




    .
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    That is nice. I've heard of getting broken solar cells from the highway department and stitching them together. Ebay is also loaded with solar parts ripe for picking.

    Gordon

    your signature was deleted from this post because of a warning from my vista os as to that site being a possible phishing website. in future posts please do not list that site. niel
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Nope , we all know its lower cost and MUCH better end product to buy manufactured solar panels

    Buying cells on eBay is only a benefit for the eBay seller
  • rplarry
    rplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Tim
    Solar guppy is right, you probably can't build a better solar panel than what is available commercially, but what you want to do will be alot more fun and informative. I built a solar tracker and could not be happier with it, it was a fun project and it works very well, my 1140 watt array tracks the sun and then after sunset it parks itself to the east and is ready for the next sunrise.
    As far as building a solar panel goes I have thought that if I were to do it I would get some aluminum angle and weld up 2 rectangular frames that would fit inside of each other. Then have some glass cut that would fit into the larger frame, assemble the solar modules and solder the connections and then use a piece of lexan (the same size as the glass) to seal the back side and then put the second aluminum frame and press the whole thing together and seal it with silicone sealer. When you say it fast it sounds easy but in reality it would be a time consuming but fun project.

    Anyway have fun with your project,
    Larry
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Sealing it to keep out the moisture is the biggest thing. If I could pour a plastic coating on top of the cells I think it would work. I have seen tables at a resturant that had this clear sealer that was poured onto the table top. I don't know what the plastic or sealer is called, but I need to make one , just one and test it, test it, it test.

    I would use a large serving tray to hold the pouring of the plastic in place, the edges of the tray would hold the flow of the plastic in place.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Ideally, the coating/sealant should have the same coefficient of expansion as your glass/solar cells. Or be very soft (like silicone seal).

    If you have something very hard as an encapsulate (like epoxy), and it, for example, expands a lot more with temperature than the glass--the glass+epoxy seal will quickly fail as the solar panel experiences thermal cycling over time.

    Another reason to use something relatively soft is that if you have hot glass and hit is with cold water (such as washing)--the glass with contract faster than the epoxy coating--again possibly causing the seal to fail.

    Using Glass with a silicon seal+hard backing (lexan/glass/etc.) may be a better solution to prevent thermal bonding failures. Look for a silicone seal with low "volatiles" (the regular sealants will out gas and coat your cells with a sticky film).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Your correct about some things the coefficient of expansion . I thought about laying my 36 cells down on a piece of glass then pouring the sealer on top of them or soft chalking around them. Do this in a very dry area with a sealer that has some give to it.
  • rplarry
    rplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Tim
    Back in the olden days I used to make underwater camera housings, and back then there was a product called RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) but it was a pourable liquid that would set up in about 24 hours. Maybe that stuff is still available.
    Larry
  • easytim
    easytim Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Thanks Larry,

    I'm checking into that now and will report back with an answer I hope

    Thanks,
    Tim
  • rplarry
    rplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    Tim as I remember this rtv was basically the same as the silicone sealers that you buy nowadays but it was a thick liquid. I think we bought it at a chemicals place locally. I just googled "pourable rtv" and got this: http://www.polymer-usa.com/ down towards the bottom of the page is # rtv 146 says it is pourable.
    There was lots of other hits, and some of those may be better than this one.
    Good luck.
    Larry
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: SOLAR CELLS - for sale on E-Bay?

    You may need a "vacuum" bag, to help get trapped air pockets out from between the cell & front glass, but as the bubbles expand, they may crack the cells as you are gluing them in.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,