Introduction: DIY Solar Panels for RV or Off Grid
First Prize in the
Off the Grid Contest
This instructable is about a couple solar panels I made while traveling in our RV. I ordered 72 solar cells from ebay. It was a kit that came with cells, flux pen, and flat buss wire. The glass came from a recycle store for 5 bucks. I got the epoxy encapsulate off ebay also. I added 3 more batteries to the RV system for extra storage. The 2 panels I made are 60 watt each. I added them to a store bought panel for a total of 240 watts. On a sunny day it has put out a steady 9+ amps.
I tested each cell before starting. Then soldered the tabs on. Be sure to put flux on all solder points. These were tabbed cells but i had to resolder a lot of them. Solder them + to - in series. Be very carefull as they break easy.
I arranged the cells along a straight edge and taped them. I left 1/8 inch gap between them.
I put a small dab of solder on all the points first then soldered the tabs to them. I tested them after soldering them together. I made strips of 9 cells each. Use 2 strips of cardboard for moving and flipping the cell strings over. Be very carefull as they break very easy.
I layed the cell strips face down on the glass and soldered them together in series. I takes 36 cells for a 60 watt panel. I soldered the diode that came with the kit to the + end of the series and added an old lamp cord. I then poured the epoxy encapsulate from ebay over everything and carefully spread it with a paint brush, then wait and wait. It took 3 days for it to set up. I used a white garbage bag fit over the back, not really needed but it made a white background for the cells. My neighbor mounted them on the roof for me and off we went. We can now dry camp for many days without running the generator. I will try and enter this in the OFF GRID contest. I you like it, I could use all the votes I can get.
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