homemade solar panels

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by chris774, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. chris774

    chris774 Member

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    has anyone ever made a solar panel that works and would u be willing to pass along the info please
     
  2. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    you talkin' about panels for solar hot water, or for electricity??
     

  3. chris774

    chris774 Member

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  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Well I saw one that produced hot air. Literally! The fellow I got the saw filer from has two home made solar heat collectors made out of an insulated box lined with black tin and faced with single glazed (and non sealed!) glass. A thermostat turned on a fan which pumped air fromt eh "hotbox" into his house and shop and I can tell you on a chilly slightly over cast day I felt warm air coming in. He swears it cuts his heatign bill 15% for free. Not a bad use for scrap and it looked like there was room to improve!
     
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Mother earth news has plans for those,they call em heat grabbers.Back in the 70s issue numbers I think.Theirs are based on hot air convection flow,no fans.
    BooBoo
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    The fellow had tried to recirculate air from the house through these collectors but found they dumped cold air into the house at night. A simple drier vent louvered cover would have helped or even a manually shut door. Sealing the unit and double paned glass would help you'd think.
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Heat Grabber
    www.motherearthnews.com/arc/2460/
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup I can see a definate advantage in that design (Still wondering why not double paned glass though) Thanks for the link!! I gotta try something like this I have everything I'd need except time and a south facing window. There are south facing windows but they have to remain unobstructed and collect snow terribly.
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple articles on it.One problem they had was overheating,so maybe double pane isnt needed.Makes sense to me though to double pane it.

    I saw a neat setup,it was solar water collectors and radiant floor heating,heating a greenhouse with 3 foot of snow on the ground.Pretty slick what you can do with solar heating.
    BooBoo
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Double pane would decrease the amont of sunlight that could enter the heater thus decreasing it's heat gain
     
  12. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Same therory as a green house two layers of transparent plastic to let visible light in and a captive air barrier to insulate the cold out and keep infared light (heat) in. The black surface collects visible light and converts it to infared light (heat) so the double pane keeps that in to be collected. Wrong?
     
  13. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    Lindsay Publications has a book on how to build simple solar cells.... book is $4.95, shipping for the first book is $1.50 and goes down .50 for the second one on..... great folks there.

    No i havent built this yet, but i have tried building other solar projects.... but it looks prominsing if you hook enough together they will provide what a person is after.

    William
     
  14. Solarone

    Solarone New Member

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    Chris,

    Don't bother. You will save an enormous amount of time and frustration by simply looking for used PV modules on ebay or some other source. Generally, people without the "right" manufacturing conditions find solar module assembly, ones that actually work, virtually impossible - or at least overly challenging.
    Individual chips are very fragile, plus it's hard to find good ones.

    Good luck!
     
  15. jsms

    jsms New Member

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    Try a low tech approach instead. Use hot-box heat traps, or evacuated (vacuum) tube heat collectors to preheat the water to 200 degrees F, then use a gas fired or parabolic solar furnace to turn the water into steam and use it to power a small steam engine or a Tesla turbine. Recapture as much of the heat as possible and feed it back into the water pre-heater. A Tesla turbine setup like this can easily be 80% efficient. You now have lots of heat for hot water, heating your home or shop, running your clothes dryer, or even cooking. And you have mechanical energy for running a pump, compressor or electric generator. Anywhere in the system that you have waste heat you can attach TEGs (thermo electric generators to charge batteries, run the control system etc.).

    Remember the Second Law of Thermodynamics, energy is neither created nor destroyed, so why pay for it?

    Every square-yard of sunlight is one kilowatt. It's simply a question of how to best capture it, store it, and use it.

    For those of you using heat-trap boxes you can get a lot more use out of them by storing the heat. Just feed the heat (coiled copper pipe, etc.) into a steel drums or old water heaters full of a heat storage medium such as water, sand, rice, whatever. At night circulate the stored heat back into air exchange for heating your shop/greenhouse/chicken coup etc.

    If you are comfortable with the higher temperatures achievable with using evacuated tubes and oil -- instead of water -- as the heat transport, then the best heat storage medium is molten paraffin wax.

    And remember insulation is your friend. A barrel of molten paraffin sealed and surrounded with a double layer of 12" rock wool or fiber glass will stay molten for a _month_. Even if the ambient temperature is 50 deg F or less.

    You'll appreciate having built your system using these simple technologies that are a hundred years old or more when the day comes that you can't get solar panels anymore...

    JSMS III
     
  16. jsms

    jsms New Member

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    p.s.
    Another increasingly important side benefit of a solar hot water / steam system is the generation of pure distilled drinking water.

    p.p.s
    google "boeing solar power tower", then think that scaled down to homesteading proportions. Use molten paraffin, cottenseed oil or even rice instead of their molten salt.


    jsms III
     
  17. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    You know,the sad part is we are only preaching to the choir here.It only takes opening your own closed eyes to see the greatest,safest,unlimited supply of power ever created,the sun.Too bad people have been so brainwashed they cant see the obvious.GREAT propaganda from the oil companies,the wealthy and priviledged.They have the whole world convinced that oil is the only answer.We can send probes out of the solar system but cant harness solar power,PUHLEEZE!Get real here.
    We could have price stability and jobs and security right here if only we werent a nation of ignorant sheep.I live by 2 solar plants(Solar 2 is FANTASTIC!) and driving distance of 3 major wind farms,the stuff works and is more than price competitive to 50 dollar/barrel oil,its competitve down to 25/barrel.Just saw on TV last night Russia is building 2 HUGE airships that will carry 4 times the load of a 747 and is,get this,SOLAR POWERED!
    Just takes taking back control of our nation from the politicians and the special interests.Like Bribes to politicians(campaign contributions) nothing is going to change until people wake up to the reality of what the traitors(politicians) are doing to us by taking bribes.
    But all is not lost.We can do it on a grass roots level.On our own homes.Thats where the change is going to happen.You put your money where your mouth is,we can beat them.Keep up the good work and fight the good fight my fellow alternate energy friends.
    BooBoo
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I like how wind and solar produce electric at 6-8 cents a kilowatt hour.Im paying 10 cents now,plus fees,and thats still reasonable price for what you get,I could pay 15 no sweat.Tell me it doesnt work.And "the sun doesnt shine at night",so what?Heat stores overnight,and you can pump water uphill during the day,and run it downhill thru turbines at night,so much for that arquement.Cant make enough,BS,our desert is EMPTY,plenty of room,as is the case for wind in many states too.Just propaganda and ignorance is keeping it from happening.
    BooBoo
     
  19. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you BooBoo, but where did you hear about the plane? I could find nothing on Google except people currently working on trying to get a solar glider to fly (take off w/solar powered propellers, I think). Unfortunately a solar car is still not a practical option, but I sure hope I live long enough to own one! :dance:

    Chris


     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    It was on discovery channel program on airships,its a dirigible.Cool,eh?
    BooBoo