Introduction: DIY Solar Panel Roll Up Shutter (solar Curtain, Tapparella Solare)

Picture of DIY Solar Panel Roll Up Shutter (solar Curtain, Tapparella Solare)

ENGLISH:

If your solar hot water system in summer get's too hot, then this will be a good project for you. I decided to make this project because in summer whenever the water gets too hot the relief valve opens which wastes a lot of water. There are many solutions for this problem like an external radiator wich cools the water, unmount the panel, ecc... I decided to cover the panel with an electric roll-up shutter controlled by an ATMEGA328P (arduino microcontroller). To keep hardware as simple as possibile i decided to mount only one limit switch when the shutter is totally closed, this combined with closing time let us move the shutter in the desidered position without encoder, more limit switch, .... If video doesn't load: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBvm0tb4Wjs

ITALIANO:

Se il boiler del tuo pannello solare in estate diventa troppo caldo questo è un progetto per te. Ho deciso di farlo perchè in estate l'acqua del boiler si surriscaldava e si apriva la valvola di emergenza, veniva quindi buttata via acqua inutilmente perdendo di fatto il senso del pannello solare. Leggendo su internet ho visto che ci sono varie soluzioni al problema tra cui un radiatore esterno in cui circola l'acqua calda e si raffredda, smontare il pannello, ecc... La soluzione che ho deciso di adottare è una tapparella elettrica che copre il pannello controllata da un ATMEGA328P (il microcontrollore dell'arduino). Per mantenere la parte hardware più semplice possibile ho montato solo un finecorsa che chiude a tapparella completamente chiusa, questo combinato con il tempo di chiusura ci permette di muovere la tapparella alla posizione desiderata senza necessità di encoder, ulteriori finecorsa, ...

Step 1: Part and Material:

Picture of Part and Material:

ENGLISH:
For this project you'll need:

  • Mechanical:
    1. Electronic roll-up shutter;
    2. Alluminium rail for the roll-up;
    3. Alluminium support for shutter;
    4. Waterproof box (for the controller unit);
    5. Screw;
    6. Plexiglas;
  • Electrical:
    1. Atmega328p (1x);
    2. 16MHz crystall;
    3. Resistors (see the table in the picture);
    4. Capacitors (see the table in the picture);
    5. Reed relay with magnet (1x);
    6. LM35 (1x);
    7. 4 way cable (for motor) (1x);
    8. 5 way cable (for sensors) (1x);
    9. Triac (2x);
    10. Moc3021 (2x);
    11. 16X2 LCD Display (1x);
    12. Push button (3x);
    13. Led (3x);
    14. Buzzer (optional but suggested) (1x);
    15. Led holder;
    16. 9V Transformer (mine was 9VA);
    17. Ac filter like 1FP45-0R (2x);
    18. Snubber circuit for triac (100Ω + 100nF) (2x);
    19. LM7805;
    20. 2.54mm pin header;
    21. Led holder (3x);

ITALIANO:

Per il progetto serve:

  • Parte meccanica:
    1. Tapparella elettrica;
    2. Guide in alluminio per la tapparella;
    3. Scatola stagna (per la parte di controllo);
    4. Viti;
    5. Plexiglas;
  • Parte elettrica:
    1. Atmega328p (1x);
    2. Quarzo da 16 MHz;
    3. Resistenza (vedi tabella in foto);
    4. Condensatori (vedi tabella in foto);
    5. Relè reed con calamita (1x);
    6. LM35 (1x);
    7. Cavo a 4 vie (per il motore) (1x);
    8. Cavo a 5 vie (per i sensori) (1x);
    9. Triac (2x);
    10. Moc3021 (2x);
    11. 16X2 LCD Display (1x);
    12. Pulsanti (3x);
    13. Led (3x);
    14. Cicalina (opzionale ma consigliata) (1x);
    15. Porta led;
    16. Trasformatore da 9V (il mio è da 9VA);
    17. Filtro soppressore disturbi di rete 1FP45-0R (2x);
    18. Circuito snubber per i triac (100Ω + 100nF) (2x);
    19. LM7805;
    20. 2.54mm strip;
    21. Porta led (3x);

Step 2: Mounting the Roll-up Shutter

Picture of Mounting the Roll-up Shutter

ENGLISH:

For this part i didn't take shots because working on the roof is very dangerous and i wasn't able to position a tripod. But it's quite easy to understand how you should mount the roll-up shutter on the panel. Be sure to don't hurt the panel pipes with the drill or the screw. After mounting the shutter with alluminium support (see the picture) you should mount the sensors. My panel was suitable for temperature sensor mount so the only things i've done is insert the LM35 sensor into a copper pipe with thermal paste and then insert it into the boiler's sensor mount hole. The reed relay shold be mounted on the structure and the magnet on the roll-up shutter (be sure that it doesn't interfere with the shutter opening/closing operation). The reed relay should be closed when the shutter is totally closed.

DANGER: Never work on the roof without safety system! Please. BE CAREFUL!

ITALIANO:

Per questa parte non ho fatto foto perchè lavorare sul tetto è molto pericoloso ed è impossibile posizionare un cavalletto. E' comunque piuttosto semplice capire come la tapparella va montata. Innanzitutto occorre fare attenzione mentre si bucano le strutture del pannello con viti o punte per evitare di forare i tubi del pannello stesso. Dopo aver montato la tapparella attraverso dei supporti, visibili in foto, in alluminio si procede con l'installazione dei sensori. Il mio pannello era già predisposto per il montaggio del sensore di temperatura quindi è bastato inserire lm35 in un tubetto di rame con della pasta termica e inserire il tutto nell'apposito foro del boiler. Il relè reed è stato montato sulla struttura e il magnete sulla tapparella (bisogna contollare che non interferisca con le normali operazioni di chiusura/apertura della tapparella stessa). Il relè reed dovrebbe chiudere quando la tapparella è completamente chiusa.

PERICOLO: Non lavorare mai sul tetto senza gli opportuni sistemi di sicurezza! Perfavore, FAI ATTENZIONE!

Step 3: Electronic Schematic

ENGLISH:
First version of the roll-up shutter was made by relay, but it wasn't stable: the unit was affected by random reset when powering on so it wasn't possibile to use it. So i've reshaped the circuit with triac control. Triacs are better than relay because they don't have mobile contacts that are subject to usury, they didn't generate sparkle when shutting down the load (they need snubbed circuit!) and they didn't have short life time. Triacs are similar to SCR, one difference is that unless SCR, triacs are able to make flow current in both the direction so they are very convenient in AC operation. Triacs can be triggered by either a positive or negative current applied to the gate and once triggered they continues conduction until the current drops below a certain threshold. To separe AC part from DC low voltage I used Phototriac Driver, a sort of optocupler but designed for triac firing. To make the circuit more reliable I added some capacitors that delete spikes at high frequency (small value) and to reduce ripple of the power supply (big value). I added also some ac filter to block disturb from and to the main. Those capacitor are very important, i suggest to mount all. The circuit is suitable for control a motorized valve to choose the water from the panel or form the gas boiler automatically (still not improved in software but coming soon if request).

ITALIANO:

La prima versione del controller era stata realizzata con i relè, ma non era stabile in quanto affetta da rest casuali durante le operazioni sotto tensione quindi era impossibile utilizzarla. Ho quindi ridisegnato il circuito in maniera tale da poterlo controllare con i triac. Questi sono meglio dei relè perchè non hanno contatti mobili soggetti ad usura, non generano scintille quando spengono il carico (hanno comunque bisogno di una rete snubber) e non hanno vita ridotta. I Triac sono molto simili agli SCR, una differenza è che i Triac permettono il passaggio di corrente in entrambe le direzioni, per questo sono molto usati nelle operazioni in corrente alternata. I triac possono essere "attivati" sia da correnti positive che correnti negative e una volta "abilitati", continuano a condurre fino a che la corrente non scende sotto una certa soglia. Per separare la parte alta tensione da quella a bassa tensione ho usato i phototriac driver, simili a fotoaccoppiatori ma disegnati per l'attivazione di triac. Per rendere il circuito più affidabile ho aggiunto alcuni condensatori che cancellano i picchi ad alte frequenze (bassi valori capacitivi) e per ridurre i ripple nell'alimentazione (alti valori capacitivi). Ho anche aggiunto alcuni filtri in alternata per bloccare i disturbi da e verso la rete. Tali condensatori sono molto importanti, suggerisco quindi di montarli tutti. Il circuito è stato inoltre predisposto per il controllo di una valvola motorizzata per gestire la provenienza dell'acqua calda, se dal pannello o dalla caldaia automaticamente (non è ancora implementato a livello software ma se richiesto posso aggiungerlo).

Step 4: Etching Pcb

Picture of Etching Pcb

ENGLISH
To make pcbs there are lots of possibility, i made my own UV expousure box from an old scanner with 4 UV neon tubes (if you need tutorial let me know in the comment!). To etch i found that the solution with hydrochloric acid (33%) and hydrogen peroxide (120vol.) made with 1/3 of acid and 2/3 of hydrogen peroxide works very vell, in 15 seconds i get my board etched! The pdf file contains the pcb bottom layer and the upper layer. As you can see in picture there is 16 pin header, you should cut the strip as shown in the picture. You can avoid mounting component in yellow area. I suggest before making pcb to try if components fit exacly in hole. The big circle near the transformer was designed for mounting a sort of barrier to filter disturbs but it result not necessary, so you don't need to mount it.
N.B. working with this solution could be very dangerous! Never work without eye protection and hand protection (the solution become very hot!).

ITALIANO

Per produrre circuiti stampati ci sono molte possibilità, io ho creato il mio bromografo UV ottenuto da un vecchio scanner con 4 neon uv montati (se serve il tutorial fammelo sapere nei commenti!). Per corrodere il rame ho scoperto che la soluzione più comoda è formata da acido cloridrico (33%) e acqua ossigenata (120vol.) in soluzione 1/3 acido 2/3 acqua ossigenata che in 15 secondi corrode completamente il rame! Il file pdf contiene il lato superiore e inferiore (solo quello inferiore necessita lo sviluppo con fotoincisione). Come puoi vedere in foto il circuito prevede una strip da 16 contatti, ma in realtà ne vanno montati solo 12 (è indicato in foto dove tagliare). Puoi inoltre evitare di montare i componenti nell'area gialla (che servono solo per azionare l'eventuale valvola motorizzata). Prima di sviluppare la scheda consiglio di verificare che i componenti stiano esattamente nei fori disegnati. I cerchi grandi visibili vicino al trasformatore sono stati disegnati per permettere il montaggio di una "barriera" in lamiera per bloccare le interferenze, ma non è risultata essere necessaria quindi si può non montare. Se necessario sono disponibile (dopo esserci accordati) a sviluppare il circuito in casa, senza però garantire (ovviamente) risultati professionali.

N.B. lavorare con la soluzione suggerita è molto pericoloso! Non lavorare mai senza occhiali protettivi e guanti (la soluzione diventa veramente calda!).

Step 5: Enclousure Building

Picture of Enclousure Building

ENGLISH:
I wanted to keep the circuit protected from water because it's outside (under the roof but it could be not enought), so i bought a waterproof box like the one in the picture which measure 190x140x70 mm. I made a window for the display by cutting a hole in the cover. I used silicone to glue a piece of plexiglass over the hole, and to keep water out. Then I attached the display, putting it directly against the plexiglass [Thanks to NickB33 for those two phrases]. Push bottons aren't waterproof (for the moment i don't have waterproof one) but i think that they can resist. Leds are supported by leds older, the one in the middle is yellow to show emergency state (too high temperature). In the bottom there are cables (one for the motor, one for sensors and one to supply the box) and a main switch to shut down the system. Unfortunately i took the wrog measure to make the holes so the leds are a bit not aligned. One improvement could be a fuse to protect main from shortcuit, you could add it as flying fuse.

ITALIANO:
Ho deciso di proteggere il circuito dall'acqua perchè è collocato all'esterno (sotto il tetto, ma non si sa mai), quindi ho comprato una scatola stagna come quella in foto che misura 190x140x70 mm. Per proteggere il display ho bucato la scatola e successivamente chiuso il buco con un pezzo di plexiglass e silicone. Il display appoggia direttamente sul plexiglas. I pulsanti non sono resistenti all'acqua (per il momento non ne ho di adatti) penso però che possano resistere ugualmente. I led sono supportati da dei porta led in plastica, quello al centro è di colore giallo per indicare uno stato di emergenza (temperatura troppo alta). Sotto ci sono i cavi (uno per il motore, uno per i sensori e uno per alimentare il tutto) e un interruttore generale per spegnere il sistema. Sfortunatamente ho preso le misure sbagliate mentre facevo i buchi per i led quindi risultano leggermente sfasati. Un miglioramento per prevenire cortocircuiti sulla rete elettrica potrebbe essere un fusibile da montare volante.

Step 6: Arduino Program

Picture of Arduino Program

ENGLISH:
The sketch is divided in parts, it isn't very optimized to keep the code simple to read. First part is the variable declaration, here you may modify something but NEVER change variable after the comment "You don't need to change these value". In the setup the program do initialization operation and closing time measure. In the loop it read the temperature from lm35, write it to the display and then check if mode switch is pressed and if backlight is on. If only mode switch is pressed, it turns on the backlight, if there are both true changes the operating mode (from automatic to manual, from manual to automatic), if only backlight is on, verify if the time of backlight is expired. After those verification, it stabilish the position that shutter should be, if the shutter is in a different position the shutter is moved. All the code is break free (no delay used) to keep the button pressure quite real time (it could be also done with interrupt method). The manual mode is designed for case when something is wrong (strange value from temperature sensor, problem with shutter motor, ...) you can adjust shutter position with this mode (to enter in this mode: turn on backlight by pressing mode switch, press another time mode switch, now adjust shutter position with open and close button). Shutter postion routine is called only once a minute, to avoid the shutter to keep moving (ex. if temperature swings between 59.9 and 60°C), you can adjust this time in the sketch. In the video you see the italian version of the controller, i translated it into english, if you translate it into another language, if you want help me to translate it in another language or you need another language, contact me! i'd like to develop multi language version of this sketch, thank you ;).

EDIT (25/08): Since the shutter was blocked because of the dirt accumulated in the rail during the inoperative time, i decided to add a feature to do a cleaning cycle (it simply closes and opens the shutter one time) and an algorithm to check if the shutter is still blocked. In a few days, after some test, i'll load the change on git.

SKETCH: https://github.com/SimoneR2/Solar-roll-up-shutter/tree/master (opens in new tab)

ITALIANO:

Lo sketch è diviso in parti, non è molto ottimizzato al fine di renderlo semplice da leggere e comprendere. La prima parte è dedicata alle variabili, qui puoi modificare alcune cose ma non cambiare MAI le variabili dopo il commento "You don't need to change these value". Nella routine di setup il programma compie l'inizializzazione del sistema e si auto calibra aprendo totalmente la tapparella (utilizzando un tempo casuale circa 1/3 in più di quello che normalmente impiega ad aprirsi totalmente, per assicurarmi che si apra del tutto) e successivamente si chiude misurando il tempo necessario. Nel loop legge i valori di temperatura e li scrive sul display, poi controlla se è stato premuto il pulsante "Mode" e se la retroilluminazione è accesa. Se solo il pulsante risulta premuto, accende la retroilluminazione, se entrambi sono attivi, cambia modalità di funzionamento (da automatico a manuale e da manuale ad automatico), se solo la retroilluminazione è attiva, verifica se il tempo di accensione assegnato è finito. Dopo queste verifiche svolge un semplice calcolo per capire in quale posizione dovrebbe essere la tapparella, se è in una posizione differente da quella calcolata la muove. Tutto il codice è privo di pause (non ho utilizzato [quasi] la funzione delay) per permettere la rilevazione della pressione del pulsante quasi in tempo reale (potrebbe essere anche realizzato via interrupt). La modalità manuale, utile in caso di malfunzionamenti (valori strani dal sensore di temperatura, problemi con il motore, ...), permette di muovere la tapparella a piacere (per abilitarla: accendi la retroilluminazione premendo "mode", premi nuovamente "mode", adesso puoi muovere la tapparella manualmente attraverso i due pulsanti laterali e sul display fino a che non premi i pulsanti di movimento dovrebbe comparire la scritta "manual mode"). La routine di posizionamento della tapparella è chiamata solo una volta ogni minuto per evitare che la tapparella continui a muoversi (per esempio se il valore di temperatura oscilla tra 59.9 e 60°C), puoi cambiare questo tempo nello sketch. Nel video c'è la versione italiana, è disponibile anche la versione inglese. Sono disponibile per traduzioni in altre lingue, se vuoi aiutarmi a farlo, se vuoi richiedermi una lingua o se lo hai già tradotto, contattami! Mi piacerebbe sviluppare una versione multi linguaggio, grazie ;).
SKETCH: https://github.com/SimoneR2/Solar-roll-up-shutter/tree/master (apre una nuova scheda)

Step 7: Community Suggestions

Picture of Community Suggestions

ENGLISH:
I decided to add this part because i think that the community suggestions that i get in those day were very useful. Here are a small summary:

  1. The shutter i used is designed for vertical use, using on a slope could damage it (for example if it snows). PeterM13 suggested to add a support in the middle made by teflon or similar to support the shutter when is out from it's protection;
  2. I could add some sensors and use the shutter to protect panel from natural disaster (like snow or sand storm) suggested by mrandle and JoshK9
  3. To keep the panel clear PeterM13, spent_case, JoshK9 suggested to add a brush and some sprayer nozzles;
  4. As PeterM13 wrote, this system could be also used on photo voltaic panel but it may needs some revision to avoid the panel's power efficency derating.
  5. BOBCAPATAZ suggested to use this project for protecting skylight;

Please guys, help me keeping this update by going on with suggestion comment.

ITALIANO:

Ho deciso di aggiungere questa parte perchè penso che i suggerimenti della community che sono arrivati in questi giorni siano stati molto utili. Qui propongo un breve sommario di quanto detto nei commenit:

  1. La tapparella usata è progettata per essere montata verticalmente, usandola sul tetto quindi quasi orizzontalmente si potrebbe danneggiare (per esempio se nevicasse). PeterM13 suggerisce di aggiungere un supporto al centro fatto di teflon o simili per sostenere la tapparella quando è aperta;
  2. Si potrebbero aggiungere dei sensori e usare la tapparella per proteggere il pannello dalle catastrofi naturali (come neve o tempeste di sabbia), suggerito da mrandle e JoshK9;
  3. Per mantenere il pannello pulito PeterM13, spent_case, JoshK9 suggeriscono di aggiungere una spazzola ed alcuni spruzzatori;
  4. Come ha scritto PeterM13, il sistema potrebbe essere usato anche con pannelli fotovoltaici però potrebbe aver bisogno di alcune revisioni per evitare di peggiorare la resa del pannello.
  5. BOBCAPATAZ suggerisce di usare il progetto per proteggere un lucernario.

Vi prego di aiutarmi a mantenere questa pagina aggiornata continuando a scrivermi nei commenti.

Step 8: The End

ENGLISH:
The instructables is ended (it took me almost a month to end). Before thanksgiving, I have a question for you: is correct the word roll-up shutter to define the one in this instructables? Thank you for the attenction, feel free to comment. If you find error please write me! I'm not english and i studied it only at school. If you liked the project please vote it. If you need improvement, information, help, ecc.. contact me immediatly. I hope I made myself clear. I wanna just say thank you to: my dad who helped me with this project, Anna from instructables (and all the instructable community) who gave me usefull information, Alessandro who helped me with electronic trouble, Doodle Snackers and NickB33 who helped me with text correction and all the other people that left a comment to suggest some improvment (like PeterM13, TechPaul, mrandle). Without them this instructables woldn't have exist. A laser would be very useful for me, for this project i could have used it for cutting circuit box, push button holes, display hole and to make some indication (like the name of the button). I could also use it for writing on plexiglas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBvm0tb4Wjs direct link to the video

ITALIANO:

La guida è finita (ci ho impiegato quasi un mese per completarla). Grazie per l'attenzione, sentiti libero di commentare. Se hai trovato errori ti prego di avvisarmi! Non sono inglese e ho studiato inglese solo a scuola (questa è rivolta principalmente ai poveri inglesi che si dovranno sorbire i miei "orrori" di scrittura SHISH! [cit.]). Se ti è piaciuto il progetto ti prego di votarlo, un piccolo gesto con un grande significato. Se hai bisogno di miglioramenti, informazioni, aiuto, ecc.. contattami senza esitare. Spero di essere stato sufficientemente chiaro. Voglio inoltre porgere i miei ringraziamenti a: mio papà che mi ha aiutato con il progetto, Anna da instructables (e tutti gli utenti) che mi ha dato informazioni molto utili, Alessandro che mi ha aiutato con i problemi elettronici e tutti gli altri che mi hanno lasciato un commento per suggerirmi miglioramenti (tra cui PeterM13, TechPaul, mrandle). Senza di loro questa guida non sarebbe mai esistita.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBvm0tb4Wjs link diretto al video

Comments

PeterM13 (author)2015-09-15

Very nice job. Just an engineering note a FYI don't take it as a criticism. This type of shutter is designed to be run vertically not on a slope or flat. the joints in it are rolling pins in channels.If the panels get bent they jamb and stick. You may consider a center support of a Teflon or Nylon material to keep them from bending down either through wind or snow load. Since your water panels have more than enough capacity a slight shadow would not hinder the output. For photo voltaic's the sun shadow would de-rate the panel output so it may not work well. Using a similar design would make a nice remote panel cleaner system for those of us that don't like going on roofs. A set of low volume ag sprayer nozzles and a rubber strip would probably do. Without water with a brush element it would remove the snow from panels.

SimoneR2 (author)PeterM132015-09-15

I never take comment like your as criticism. I think that it's always time to learn and reflect, also because i'm "young" and i don't have much experience. I'll think about teflon support for center, and for brush element. I wouldn't never thought about snow problem on the shutter so you may have saved my shutter! Really thank you!

lucanos (author)2015-09-22

Like some of the other commenters, I can see great value in this idea for protecting water systems, and solars panels, during extreme weather. (Further, I could see value in it being used to de-energise solar panels should tradesmen or emergency workers need to work on the roof or electrical system.)

Realising that snow or hail could stick to the panel and add alot of weight, could it be an option to mount the roller along a side, so it works perpendicular to the current setup? That could mean that the articulated joints might act as gutters to funnel material down, rather than as grooves to catch the hail/snow. This might mean that the bottom rail might need to be re-engineered, so it, too, doesn't trap the hail/snow.

Great idea, though!!

throwedoff (author)2015-09-17

This or something similar would work to protect solar cells from the hail storms that we get in the early summer months in and around my area of the country. We average around 330 days a year of sunlight, but many people have not adopted solar for fear of them being damaged or destroyed by hail. Pea sized to marble size hail is very common and usually only damaging to vegetation. Once it gets quarter sized (U.S. quarter dollar/25 cents) and larger, it begins to do structural damage to roofing materials, windows, car bodies, etc. Of course once it reaches baseball sized (very rare) all you can do is ride it out in some place safe. Golf ball sized hail (not all that uncommon) will punch through most sky lights and can damage car windshields, so I imagine it will play havoc with solar panels.

SimoneR2 (author)throwedoff2015-09-18

I think that this kind of shutter coldn't do anything again strong hailstorm (golf ball sized hail for example). I think I'll add the feature to protect the panel from small storm soon. Luckily here in Italy we don't have strong storm.

Jarrillolata (author)2015-09-16

I am absolutely impressed, it's just what I needed.

I have the same kind of vacuum tubes collectors (which are extremely effective), and precisely'm repairing the tank pressure valve which failed.

grazie mille.


Answering Happymacer; Live in southern Spain, my solar panel is protected on the side of my house. From 5pm receives no solar radiation, despite all the pressure valve in the summer begins to let out hot water due to the high temperature starting at 2 pm. That is maintained for 3 hours dropping high temperature hot water without stopping. Even so, do you really think that the solution is a pressure valve ?.

SimoneR2 (author)Jarrillolata2015-09-16

Mine valve failed too, if you decide to make this project and find any difficult or another solution let me know, I'll try to help you.

elpayo (author)2015-09-16

Very good idea and make. Sorry I'm not english too :)

SimoneR2 (author)elpayo2015-09-16

thank you :) no problem if you're not English, never feel blocked from this.

kibukun (author)2015-09-16

If you want you could try a vane system like venetian blinds. It would be adjustable to how much light it brings in and automatable too.

spent_case (author)2015-09-16

What an excellent idea and execution! I too would use it for solar panel protection (hail, mainly small stuff) and with the suggested brush and sprayer, keeping them cleaner and more efficient. Language is for communication, it's admirable you wish to continue correcting the English, but it's understandable and effective as is for native speakers that understand the concepts. Bravo, me piacere molto. See, you get the idea.

SimoneR2 (author)spent_case2015-09-16

Hi, thank you. I'm happy it's undestandable for native speakers :) Let me know if you need any help!

Liamthe1st (author)2015-09-12

We have found that a panel on a pitched roof in the UK is a pointless waste !

Verticle walls of Panels in the winter can make use of low sun levels where summer settings on a pitch roof looses all in the Winter. Solar curtains please !

spent_case (author)Liamthe1st2015-09-16

You might consider using a solar panel insolation guide to adjust the angle for maximum efficiency by latitude and for the time of year that is problematic. Sorry don't have one that covers the UK, but I'm sure they're out there. Sorry for the diversion, but the guy seems pretty upset.

SimoneR2 (author)Liamthe1st2015-09-12

Hi, thank you for this small "lesson", but onestly i don't think that this is the right place to discuss about solar panel's efficenty. This project is only to protect it from solar overheating, and onestly i don't have possibility to mount it on a verticle wall. Thank you for solar curtain clarification.

Druid66 (author)2015-09-15

Hi Si - Hey mate I`m a plumber in Australia and I fit a fair few solar hotties in my business - We often get issues with overheating in the summer too and often find the problem is due to Low Water Pressure - To covers their warranties most manufacturers recommend 400Kpa minimum pressure into the house - unfortunately we find this can be a pretty big ask sometimes depending on the circumstances - plus we find as `a rule of thumb` you can get away with just over 200Kpa on the roof to avoid any boiling - Failing that you can always whip out a few tubes remove the copper insert and pop the glass outer core back in as a dummy :-) Anyway nice mod mate and BTW Where did you buy your blind from?

SimoneR2 (author)Druid662015-09-16

Hi, thank you for suggestion but for my panel the problem was contrary, we had to put a regulator to reduce pressure but the problem was still there so I decided to built that. I found the blind in a local windows shop, it is produced near my home in Trentino.

nkz75 (author)2015-09-16

Fantastic Instr.!!!!

Thank you for sharing!

SimoneR2 (author)nkz752015-09-16

thank you for comment :)

BOBCAPATAZ (author)2015-09-15

I agree with your friend, Alessandro. Good Job.! My interest in your project, is to protect a skylight.

SimoneR2 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2015-09-15

Just one question: how can you understand what Alessandro wrote, do you know italian or just google translate (:P) ? Sorry but I'm very curious :D

BOBCAPATAZ (author)SimoneR22015-09-15

Ciao il mio giovane amico. Sono cresciuto con diversi amici italiani, così ho preso un sacco di linguaggio. A 75, la memoria non mi riesce, a volte, così ora, basta usare Google. Addio per ora. Buona fortuna. = = = Hello my young friend. I grew up with several Italian buddies, so I picked up a lot of the language. At 75, my memory fails me at times, so I now, just use Google. Good bye for now. Good luck.

SimoneR2 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2015-09-16

Grazie, ti faccio i complimenti per riuscire a 75 anni a ricordarti qualcosa di italiano e soprattutto riuscire ad utilizzare il computer.
Thank you, I must congrats you at 75 years still remember some Italian's word and been able to use PC!

SimoneR2 (author)BOBCAPATAZ2015-09-15

Thank you, let me know if you need any help!

TechPaul (author)2015-09-15

I have lived in the tropics, for many years and I have never heard of a solar hot water system getting too hot. Maybe they do, the brush idea sounds handier, useful for cleaning panels.

SimoneR2 (author)TechPaul2015-09-16

as I said maybe it's just my panel that is mounted not very well but I saw online other people with this kind of problem so I think that sometimes could be possible.

NickB33 (author)2015-09-15

Hello there. You wrote: "To protect lcd from water I made an hole in the box and then covered it with plexiglas and silicone, the display leans (is the right verb?) directly on plexiglas."

That's a good catch on your part. The basic idea is correct, but lean means something is tilted / instead of upright |. Since you want the display flat against the plexiglass you could say that it sits or lays. You could also say that it goes directly against the plexiglass, as in it belongs there according to your design.

----------------------------------------------

While we're at it, I might as well point out a few other things:

"To protect lcd..."

- Initialisms are capitalized: LCD

- You have to narrow the subject of a verb to something more specific. Proper nouns refer to one thing, so you can say, "To protect Ireland." To use other nouns you need to add a quantifier like one, or a word like a or the. In this case you're referring to a specific LCD so you would say, "To protect the LCD."

"To protect the LCD from water I made..."

- You would typically put a comma after water, "To protect the LCD from water, I made..."

"...I made an hole..."

- In general, use "a" when the next word starts with a consonant, and "an" when it starts with a vowel. So, you make a pit, but throw an aquarium into it.

"...covered it with plexiglass and silicone, the display..."

- This means that you covered the hole with plexiglass and covered the hole with silicone, or that you covered the hole with a mixture of the two.

- This is called a comma splice. You actually have two different but related sentences. You could handle this in two ways. Most people will write, "...covered it with plexiglass and silicone. The display..." However, technically you can also write, "...covered it with plexiglass and silicone; The display..." to indicate that the sentences are very closely related.

"...directly on plexiglas."

- Again, you could say, "directly on Simon," but for plexiglass you need, "directly on the plexiglass."

Here is it all together, without correcting the silicone covered hole:

"To protect the LCD from water, I made a hole in the box and then covered it with plexiglass and silicone. The display lays directly on the plexiglass."

Alternately, I might suggest, "I made a window for the display by cutting a hole in the cover. I used silicone to glue a piece of plexiglass over the hole, and to keep water out. Then I attached the display, putting it directly against the plexiglass."

Best wishes.

SimoneR2 (author)NickB332015-09-15

Thank you!! I really appreciate this corrections. The description you've corrected was the hardest part for me to write, i'm glad to being able to correct it and make more comprehensible. I'll correct it asap, again thank you!

NickB33 (author)SimoneR22015-09-15

You're quite welcome. I'm always happy to help someone who seems so eager to learn.

BEAR2247 (author)2015-09-15

AlessandroL8 (author)2015-09-11

Complimenti! Preciso ed esaustivo nei dettagli. Chiaro nel procedimento, non manca nulla (...che potrebbe farlo anche un bimbo!). Positiva anche la disponibilità per i linguaggi del codice sorgente e ulteriori info!! Ottimo per chi vuole con pochi soldi, far fronte a continui ed evidenti sprechi del proprio sistema a pannello solare termico. Consiglio a tutti!!! Un buon voto se lo merita proprio!!

Alessandro

SimoneR2 (author)AlessandroL82015-09-11

grazie ale :)

Doodle Snackers (author)SimoneR22015-09-12

Bravo Simone. Here's your English lesson for today, to improve upon what you have written.

"If the water in your *solar hot water system* get*s* too hot in summer *then* this will be a *good* project for you. *Whenever* the water *gets* too hot the *relief* valve opens which *wastes a lot of* water. There are *many* solutions to this problem etc. etc. ..."

Is it possible that the translation your are correcting is made by Google rather than Simone? Google translations are often amusing.

SimoneR2 (author)Jack Rodgers2015-09-15

Hi Jack, is your comment for me or Doodle Snackers? If it's for me, no all what i wrote wasn't translated by Google. I used online dictionary to find out technical word but for roll-up shutter there was serveral nouns so i didn't know what i should use. If you find errors in verbs or phrase it's mine (i have to be honest: i'm not very good in english tenses). I'm sorry if you found too much error, i'll try to correct all.

SimoneR2 (author)Doodle Snackers2015-09-12

Thank you, I'm always happy to learn something new! I'll try to correct all mistakes as soon as possible. Just another question: is roll up shutter the right name? thank you again :)

Jack Rodgers (author)SimoneR22015-09-15

Roll and and Down might be more accurate :)

The word Up is so overused;

Stir Up

Fix up

Stand up

etc...

Doodle Snackers (author)SimoneR22015-09-14

You're most welcome. Here in Australia we call them roller shutters, or roller doors if used on a garage etc.

ironsmiter (author)SimoneR22015-09-12

normally, they are just refered to as roll shutters. Sometimes, called hurricane shutters.

Roll up shutters works well too. So, that translation is good.

SimoneR2 (author)ironsmiter2015-09-12

Thank you!!

Jack Rodgers (author)2015-09-15

My first thought is great idea and my second is why not create a looping mechanism so that the cover is stored under the unit rather than in that housing. Consider the clothes lines that have gears on both ends and the over head and lower lines are used for pulling the clothes in and out.

SimoneR2 (author)Jack Rodgers2015-09-15

Hi, i think i didn't understand completly your suggestion. Could you please add some picture to clarify? Thank you.

JoshK9 (author)2015-09-15

This is actually really neat. I could see people using something like this to cover their panels at night or during weird weather to protect them from damage. Also, some kind of brush at the end could be used to keep the panels clean.

SimoneR2 (author)JoshK92015-09-15

Yes, brush could be a good idea. Thank you for the comment ;)

mrandle (author)2015-09-15

This would work great in places like Canada where we get lots of snow or a place with sand storms that can wreck the glass. If a storm is coming then just close the shutter. Or it can be used like a shovel to get the snow off after. I'm thinking more for electric solar panels than water heating but should work either way.

SimoneR2 (author)mrandle2015-09-15

yes, here where I live there is snow too and I thought to close the shutter when snowing too! Maybe it could be implemented with some other sensor like wind or a snow sensor (may be a rain sensor with a resistor to melt the snow). Thank you for this clever suggestion :)

Happymacer (author)2015-09-13

hiya! Impressive work, very nice.

But I'm curious why you need it. My solar panels have a valve installed that controls the water flow through the solar panel depending on the water temperature. Are you sure you valve works? Mine failed closed a while ago and I got no solar hot water, had to heat it electrically. if yours failed open, then I guess it will allow the system to get too hot, and thus letting the over pressure valve open to control the pressure. That allows cold water in, and the cycle restarts. I have the plumbing schematic somewhere if of any interest.

SimoneR2 (author)Happymacer2015-09-13

Hi, thank you. To be honest who has mounted and projected the solar system wasn't competent. Solar boiler (installed on the roof) contain about 200l of water and if you don't use it, the panel keeps warming and water temperature rise. If the temperature became too high, then the emergency valve opens and discharge water out from boiler. Switching between hot water from panel and hot water from gas heater is made by a valve (not electrical but still automatic) and I'm sure that it works. I think that the difference between your solar system and mine is that mine doesn't have a valve for glycol so it keep runnig (for natural circulation) even when water in boiler is enough warm.

irun4fundotca (author)SimoneR22015-09-14

glycol is sometimes used for radiant heater setups, you cant use glycol in drinking water for a hot water preheater though

SimoneR2 (author)irun4fundotca2015-09-14

I think that you didn't understand how my panel works. There are two circuits for water, one is from the solar panel's pipe to the boiler and one is for the sanitary water. Glycol never pollute water, only exchange it's heat to sanitary water.

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Bio: I'm a student from Italy. I'm studying automation in the 5th high school class. At school we're study pic, plc, fpga, and ... More »
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