Step 1: Creating A Template & Putting Frame Together

Picture of Creating A Template & Putting Frame Together
First, I want to make a template for my solar cells. What I used was a spare piece of regular plywood, a piece of regular cardboard the size of a solar cell, some tile spacers, and a staple gun to create my template. I wanted to use the tile spacers to help keep my solar cells even as seen in Part 1 of the video.

Using a ruler helped to keep everything aligned, and it's easier to cut the plywood using a jigsaw, but a regular hand saw will do fine as well.

Next, once I finished my template, I started to put the frame together. What I used was a 1x2x8 piece of plywood, and cut that to fit my outer frame of the plywood. I wanted to make sure the outer frame was not too high to prevent from loosing any sunlight I could be using. So I then placed the pieces of plywood on top of the 2x4 pressure treated plywood, and screwed those down and sanded the entire frame afterward as seen in Part 2 of the video. After sanding and cleaning up any extra dust left over, I applied the Deck and Siding paint onto the frame. I wanted to give it 2 coats for a nice seal from UV rays, and making it water resistant. I also needed to place 2 coats of the Deck and Stain paint on the 2x4 piece of pegboard.
~boots~6 years ago
i'm not quite sure how you're getting your tabbing wire to stick; i've been using solder on mind - front and back of the cells - and its not only coming off but it's tearing off the contact on the negative side and not sicking when i try to reapply it. did you get pre-tinned tabbing wire? am i just stupid? i cant get it it work (or at least stay on). bty - you're videos are amazing. i really appreciate the hard work :)

no your not stupid i made this mistake and you need a rosin flux pen, it cleans the surface of the area were you are trying to solder. look up #186 flux pen on ebay

djcssp5 years ago
Hello Robert,
I looked at your website and you posted a spreadsheet on the cost of producing the panel. Your list of materials includes the tools. What is the approximate cost if I already have all the tools?

hastyhost (author)  djcssp5 years ago

For my solar panel I did not buy any tools, such as the power drill, saw, and other power tools. I also had all that on hand already, and the spreadsheet doesn't include those items.

Maybe you are referring to something else?