DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?

Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
Was out doing some research tonight and stumbled onto references for buying 3.1wp solar cells to make your own DIY solar panel. What do you guys think about this whole build your own solar panel thing? I find it intriguing if you're the DIY type as the resulting panel is cheaper than a factory made one, albeit that it lacks a warrenty since you make it yourself. I figure it's probably one of those weird niche projects given that it's really not practical for large scale usage or home application. But I did find it interesting none the less.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?

    DIY panels have been discussed ad nauseum around here. Money down the tubes.

    Building one to learn is one thing. Possibly even for a specialized app (small panels are very expensive per Watt). Otherwise ... compete with $1/Watt & warranty? I don't think so.

    Maybe you might want to build some 6 Volt units with an Imp to match some GT panel to get the Voltage up to OG levels.

    I admit to being old and lazy, but frankly it's a lot of work for a little return by any standards.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?

    Hi Steven,

    You have been here for some time, so you probably know the drill:

    If you want to build your own as a fun project to power a small fan or LED light, go for it!

    It is almost certain that the Solar Cells that you can buy are someone else's REJECTS. It is essentially impossible for someone in their garage to make the required (essentially) hermetic seal. AND, PVs are exposed to huge temperature cycles each sunny day, and big winds and torrents of water, acid rain and all. This is an impossible environment for a back-yard hobbiest to design for. Even if you could buy the exact materials that the manufacturers use, to produce your PVs, the process is very exacting. requiring specialized equipment and skilled hands.

    Here is the Solar PV Kit that I use and recommend:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/hiposopa.html

    Just opinions. Have Fun though, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?

    With "store bought" panels UNDR $.60/watt why would you build your own?

    Tony
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Re: DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?

    I'm not actually looking at building my own. I just thought the idea was intriguing. I'm too much of a "wreck-it ralph" to dare trying to build my own. That and I'm really just too lazy as well. :P Even so, being a DIY'er, I found the idea intriging and wanted to see what you guys thought about it. :) I kinda figured you'd pan it, but it still doesn't hurt to ask.

    Now, as an aside, you guys were talking about $1/watt panels. Where in the blazes are you finding these, because most of what I'm looking at are $5/watt minimum. o_0
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: DIY solar panel kits - your 2c?
    Now, as an aside, you guys were talking about $1/watt panels. Where in the blazes are you finding these, because most of what I'm looking at are $5/watt minimum. o_0

    You're either looking at small panels which are very expensive per Watt or you're looking in the wrong place. Our host NAWS has some @ around $1/Watt: http://www.solar-electric.com/hiposopa.html

    And if you search the Internet you can come across the occasional bargain for even less. Just make sure you understand what you're getting and from where: not all resellers are as reputable as NAWS. ;)
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