Step 1: Overall panel characteristics, items, etc.
- about 0.5 m^2 area, at a maximum of 1 kW/m^2 of irradiation and 12% efficiency this should produce UP TO 60 W of electrical power. (at the same time this means that about 440 W of thermal power could potentially be harnessed!).
- 36 cells, 3"x6". Cost: about $150 from rebeccayi0904 (ebay, nice seller!) for 80 cells (used 36 for this panel).
- aluminum backplate (26"x32", can't remember thickness): about $10 in a sheetmetal store.
- small roll of Begquist sil-pad 400, cost about $50 from ebay (can't remember seller)
- glass front cover, about $15 at the hardware store
- aluminum rails for borders, about $12 at the hardware store
- about 25 feet of 1/4" copper pipe, about $20 at the hardware store
- some 2-3 tubs of silicone caulk
- aluminum flux paste from McMaster-Carr (about $30, but you can buy a smaller quantity, I only used about 1/20 of the tub)
- a 12 V water pump, search on ebay "12 V pump laser & cpu cooling", cost about $10.
Caution: Aluminum Flux Paste is a very nasty material. It contains fluoride and if handled improperly it can cause serious harm to you. Read all instructions and the material safety data sheet (MSDS), and if you are not 100% confident that you can work safely, do not.