Solar Panel Construction
I had a question and couldn't think of a better place to turn to than this.
Basically, I am constructing, or planning to rather, an outdoor picnic table. I want to add some gadgetry to it and make it more multifunctional. Sorry to be vague, but a lot of it is still being worked out and since I'm going to post the project on here anyway, I'd like to wait to present the entire project as a whole.
My question involves the use of solar panels as a table top surface. I have a basic understanding of how to create a solar panel powered system (http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.html or https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Power-System/). But my question is this: does covering the solar panel with a piece of acrylic hinder its power collecting abilities? I'm thinking of covering the entire table top surface of my table with solar panels.
Aside from the obvious downfalls of people using the table and blocking sun, I thought there would be enough time when its not in use to collect power. But obviously I can't have people eating right on the panels and damaging them.
Any guidance would be GREAT! I just want to know if I should even entertain this design idea or separate the panels from the table altogether. Thanks!