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Can I use liquid silicone to secure solar cells to a sheet of plexiglass? Answered

ok so i have the bright idea of sandwiching my solar cells in between 2 sheets of some sort of acrylic material, coating everything with silicone to secure and seal it. anyone have any experience with this? will the silicone block any light? i'm also welcome to ANY and all suggestions regarding DIY solar power!!!!! 

Tags:solarPV

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seandogue
seandogue

11 years ago

silicon is usually used in relatively small amounts to hold cells to their backer. A few blobs should be sufficient in most cases. The transparent protective covering is usually held in place using a frame, rather than direct adhesion to the solar cells. This allows one to replace damaged or faulty cells. Gluing everything together using silicon is a recipe for failure.

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iPodGuy
iPodGuy

11 years ago

Could you use acrylic for the back and glass for the front?  You could use the silicone to hold the sheets together.  I wouldn't use silicone on the actual front of the panels unless there is no other choice.  Your solar panels will outlast even the strongest outdoor silicone and even the super clear stuff turns opaque when in the sun and weather for long enough.

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Koosie
Koosie

11 years ago

The silicone should block some light, but silicone + sunlight + long time = bad idea. 
I've tried it before (don't ask where) and after a few weeks, the silicone went yellow/brown, rock hard and started cracking. 
Now it's not doing what I wanted and I can't get it off.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

11 years ago

I'd also add that acrylics are sensitive to UV, and will yellow and degrade your cells effciency. Glass is better, and more compatible with silicon.

I would agree with RE, unless you use a two-pack, the stuff won't dry, and unless you find out more about the absorbency characteristics of  your silicone, you could be in trouble.

Steve

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Re-design
Re-design

11 years ago

Anything you put between the cells and the light will block some of the light.  You can use silicone to seal the edges or a dot on the back to hold the cells in place but don't put silicone on the front of the cells.  Silicone takes a long time to cure when airtight and even the clear silicone will block too much light.