To clarify: one can take the solar cells into the sunlight whenever, but at the risk damaging/scratching them if they sit on the roof, where they will have dirt blown against it and potentially be rained on. I just meant the plastic covering protected the cells from things like wind/rain, I was talking long term.As to how hot they can get in direct sunlight, that depends on the backing material. This instructable was not designed to be fully practical, just educational, so I didn't bother thinking about heat dissipation. If you are curious about solar cells in general, then I would google it.
Thanks for your input, however, I was listing 40 W for 10 cells in series. I will clarify that in the description!
I found all of my parts on ebay because that's where the cheapest components are. However, usually cheap means low quality as well. It would be worthwhile to invest more in the solar cells.
Thank you for your input, I added this into the areas for improvement section!I chose 5 V because that is enough for small electronics. If I were to do this for a house, it would have been at least 12 V. What do you mean by 'large cells'? Also, what is 'voltage per wattage'?
Hello! Thanks for your input. That is actually a documented method of getting more power out of solar panels is my understanding. Modern panels can absorb a higher spectrum of light, which requires higher quality PV material. Due to higher costs for this PV material, they use less of it and send more sunlight onto the smaller cells with mirrors. It's pretty cool!However, for me to do it, the point of my setup was to be a very inexpensive workshop for beginners. To add on cooling and mirrors, I would buy higher quality cells to make it worthwhile.
Solar Cells: http://www.ebay.com/itm/120-pieces-6x6-156mm-tripl...Tab/Bus Wire: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tab-wire-200-Bus-wire-25-G...Hopefully that helps
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Can you explain how the transistors work to detect the AC line? Is it a frequency thing or a magnetic field thing?
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Thanks for pointing that out to me. I didn't know you could find charge controllers that cheap!
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Nice use of the materials you had at hand. I think I will try to make these in the spring as well. I especially like how you used different materials in your designs. It must have been so satisfying to turn your gears on the first one you made, even though you knew it'd work.
Well done, very well done. I learned some things about Titebond and also that I should buy a good planer tool. My one recommendation would be maybe to wood burn your initials on the bottom like an artist's signature :)
Thanks for pointing that out, it did not occur to me! I will put that tidbit in the instructable so others can see that, because that is actually a dangerous mistake! What is a solar regulator though? I only know of voltage regulators on a component level
Haha good luck! I see an Altoids can there
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Thanks, yeah it was a fun project!
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