Even though my grades in physics were fairly average I had a wish to make a solar panel by searching for the cheapest components on eBay and tutorials on YouTube. If I was in US this project could cost 50% less but now it cost me 150 EUR.
How did I choose the solar cells? I looked at eBay sellers and marked some of them. In my mind I put the target price, lets say 10 USD or 8 EUR. And every day I put this price on all biding opportunities. I won 10% :) The seller’s name is solarcells101 and he always sends 2 extra cells in case of some damage. Before you bid, please calculate how many cells you will need. I have 3 groups of 27 cells, each group produces 12 V on a normal day. Read about wiring and how to count voltage (link). The part that is invisible looks like this:
But actually you should start with this. I used a small 7AH rechargeable battery, it is normally used for GPS or fathometers on the boats. I spent 15 EUR on it.
The next component is “the brains”. This small device controls the power. If a day is super sunny and my panel gives out more than 14 V, then the power is blocked and cut off from the battery – remember safety first!
If the battery is full, it allows to get power from it and keeps it fully charged. The third component which you can see on the desk is a power converter from 12V to 220V and usually it is used in cars. To solder together the solar cells I used a special tabbing wire, also bought on eBay (I have tried a simple wire – it works, but is very hard to use):
For the main lines you need to use a bigger tabbing wire and for the ends use a simple wire:
I made a box from wood, plastic glass and stainless steel shields. It is for covering edges to avoid rain water penetration and to press the glass to the wooden box:
At the back I pulled out two cables + & -:
When it was finished, it looked like this:
Remember that in solar technology POLARITY MATTERS, don’t mess up with + & -!
I absolutely support those who set an aim for themselves and go for it! If you want to spend more than 1000 EUR, please don`t make solar panels – just buy them because if you make them, there will be a lot of chances for failure! Just don’t give up!
P.S In winter it looks like this:)
Try to understand – being green is no easy!