another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
I do not have a home computer with an Internet connection, only a smartphone. A coworker just posted a link to a website promoting DIY solar panels. And is typically the case, the builder of the solar panels is all about showing and nothing about the result. There are no measurements no numbers to show the resultmof his 30 min. video.

I wish I had a regular computer with internet, so that I could write a letter to that website asking them to not published unfinished projects. We don't get to see the homemade panel producing any actual electricity, just the individual promising to videotape more panels being made. this sort of propaganda makes me so angry.

http://www.truthandaction.org/get-cheap-easy-grid-power-diy-solar-panel-video/

Comments

  • KenZ71KenZ71 Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    If you could write the aboce post from a smartphone what is stopping you from writing to the publisher?

    I am using a smartphone to write this as well.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry
    KenZ71 wrote: »
    If you could write the aboce post from a smartphone what is stopping you from writing to the publisher?

    I am using a smartphone to write this as well.

    I get directed to a mobile version of the site which does not show me all of the posting options
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    I have long ago learned to "...let it go."

    People will see the video--And may even try a building a few panels to see what happens. Hopefully, they will get a little more interested and try to find more information.

    I don't want to get "too in your face" about this sort of stuff. If somebody was being guided into building a 3-10kWatt array--Yea, I would be pretty upset with the folks selling the supplies at $0.50 a Watt and the DYI Panel books for $64--Or whatever.

    In the end, economics will help explain to folks that you can buy kits for ~$0.25 to $0.50 per watt (and you still have to purchase class, backing, silicon seal, etc.) with (possibly) vendor rejected cells, or buy A grade panels for $1-$1.50 a Watt (plus shipping) and 20+year warranties all day long.

    What is most people do not see when they get into power systems is that a large percentage of the work and $$$ is to ensure that there is a safe and reliable system (racking, breakers, wiring that meets NEC requirements, reliable panels+equipment). This is no longer building a short wave receiver on the kitchen table (been there, done that). This is something that, if done wrong, can leave you in the dark to seeing "the light" in a bad way:

    Panel Fire Question
    (essentially, very close to home build panels made with plastic panels--Done "to code", in theory)

    Attachment not found.

    This Youtube video is an example of an breaker for US house wiring switching switching off relatively high DC voltage (~290 Vmp array @ 12 amps)... and you can see that it breaks out in fire

    This video (2nd half) shows what 300 amps at 12 volts can do to a nail/screw/bolt in a short circuit:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    The site really isn't about solar at all. However, that does tick a box for search engines to grab onto, with the hopes of driving them to their own view of the world in other articles.
  • PlowmanPlowman Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry
    BB. wrote: »
    This video (2nd half) shows what 300 amps at 12 volts can do to a nail/screw/bolt in a short circuit:

    Why did the breaker take 6+ mins to trip during the first test?
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    What people really don't understand is that if time is money the cost for you to build a solar panel is roughly $5.50 per watt if you find yourself to be worth atleast $40 an hour. everything now is machine automated and reduces the time to build up to 75%.

    Solar cells purchased through Ebay, Amazon, etc are grade B cells they are sold to the do it your selfer at mark ups so people pay more for those cells, than the costs manufacturers produce the grade A cells at, so the DIY project is already a diminishing return.

    A true solar panel requires a vacuum seal and lamination melt of the cells to glass via the PTFE backing, no back yard do it yourselfer can do this without going to a lamination shop, that has a machine large enough to vacuum and heat the PTFE.

    People just need to keep it to the professionals making panels at under $1 a watt.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry
    Plowman wrote: »
    Why did the breaker take 6+ mins to trip during the first test?

    Because the current was limited. Breakers will trip a different times depending on the level of overcurrent.
    A breaker meets its listing tests even if it holds 134% of the rated current forever.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    That was a current limited power supply--And the examples were intended to show what medium levels of current can do to various everyday objects (that sometimes get dropped into electrical circuits).

    Given that even a modest sized Lead Acid (or LiFePO4) battery bank can easily output 1,000's of Amperes into a dead short--Showing why NEC and other practices are very good for safety.

    An example of shorting nuclear sub batteries (on purpose) or ~6,000 amps (something like 25,000 AH cells?).

    They are calling this "ball lighting"--To me it is just white hot burning metal fragments skimming across the surface of a water tank (high temperatures form a cushion of steam between surface of water and bits of burning metal).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PlowmanPlowman Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry
    inetdog wrote: »
    Because the current was limited. Breakers will trip a different times depending on the level of overcurrent.
    A breaker meets its listing tests even if it holds 134% of the rated current forever.
    I just rewatched it, I missed the amperage they were testing. So maybe a better question is why did it trip at all. 900W (75 a @ 12V) is only 119% of the rated 63 amp breaker.

    Just trying to understand battery shorts, something I haven't quite wrapped my head around. I would have thought that a short like that would have resulted in the battery dumping hundreds of amps through the conductors (and hopefully immediately tripping the breaker), but that doesn't appear to have happened. I was also surprised by the lack of sparks. Maybe the ring had enough resistance to prevent that?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry

    There are several videos. The first one is a 290vdc array on a correctly size breaker that is simply turned off. And the breaker was not able to interrupt the current flow.

    Arc started and sustained until the contacts vaporized and there was no metal left. (Guessing)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: another website promoting DIY panels, makes me angry
    Plowman wrote: »
    I just rewatched it, I missed the amperage they were testing. So maybe a better question is why did it trip at all. 900W (75 a @ 12V) is only 119% of the rated 63 amp breaker....
    There is a manufacturing tolerance window. Just as it is allowed to carry 134% forever, it is allowed to trip at 101% in as little as six minutes. Anything between the must-trip and must-hold curves is fair game.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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