I have made wood frame solar panels and all glass solar panels, but so far out of all the solar panels
this type of DIY solar panel is the most sealed from water. I have made wood frame and all seem to get moisture in them. I still make them but they are good under a roof or eve .
This diy solar panel was made with all cracked 3"x6" solar cells to see if I could get the same power out of them, on the next steps I will show what all I did. http://sites.google.com/site/earthforsolar/glass-frame-diy-panel
looking for solar cells www.solarcells101.com
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Step 1: Soldering Tabbing Wire on Solar Cells
When I solder the tabbing wire on solar cells I cut all the tab wire first. If i am using 3"x6" solar cells,
I will cut two pieces of tabbing wire 6" long. Then I soldered all the backs first. http://sites.google.com/site/earthforsolar/glass-frame-diy-panel
On this set of solar cells I used cells that were cracked all the way across, I soldered the tab wire on the back first then I used packaging clear tape and taped the bottoms. This made the cell stronger and helped to keep them from braking more in the soldering and diy solar panel making process .
Step 2: Soldering the Rows of Solar Cells in Series
Materials you will need when building your panel.
* Multiple solar cells
* Ribbon or Bus wire 5mm
* Wire cutter/stripper
* Soldering iron 15-25 watts
* Rosin core solder with non-corrosive flux (best for the value)
* Tab wire or solar cell tin wire 1.5mm or 2mm
If your having problems soldering your solar cells your soldering iron could be too hot
I only use around 20 watt to 40 watt iron and the only thing I use is rosin core solder
60/40 with flux in it it works great and melts at low heat http://sites.google.com/site/earthforsolar/home
Need solar cells this is my website http://www.solarcells101.com
Step 3: Laying the Solar Cells in the GLASS, FOR YOU DIY SOLAR PANEL
In this step we have the rows of soldered solar cells in series. I take the rows lay them down with opposite ends, the rows will still be all in series. So lets say one row, the top, may be pos+ and the next row the top may be neg - and so on. Then they are siliconed down so they stay put when the silcone is set up. You can connect all your rows in series with bus wire 5 mm wire
What is tab and bus wire used for ?
More websites on making solar panels check out my link page
Here are some helpful links I've found that may be helpful to you.
Step 4: Making an All Glass Solar Panel
In my opinion, this type of Solar panel seals the best. It was made with two sheets of 1/8" thick glass. The one sheet of glass was the backing and the solar cells were siliconed to it. Then the other glass sheet was placed on top to form a seal. Before I siliconed the top, I put blobs of silicone around the 1" lip for the seal, about 1/4" high, and let dry over night. The next day I then placed silicone all around the 1" lip on the bottom glass piece. The blobs were used to stop the glass from sinking all the way down and braking the solar cells. After it dried, I added more around to make sure I had a good seal. Then what I used for the white frame, in the very last pictures shown here below, is white j-molding or j-Chanel, what is typically used when siding a house like what is used around windows or doors. This was siliconed on too, then when it dried I added more, this made a double seal. This Solar panel is sealed real good for keeping out the rain and moisture. The wood frame is also good, but sometimes hard to make a water tight seal, or to keep condensation out because of the wood.
Step 5: FREE ENERGY the Finished DIY Solar Panel
In this step I am showing my finished panel out in the sun. Putting out power
it has a open volt reading of 19.5 volts and amps over 3.10 amps
so this panel came out nice and is sealed good from rain and snow.
I have more Free help on my diy solar panel E-Book all free
If your looking for solar cells i have them on my website and more help web sites i have found
I am going to try to have some video this summer with running some nice size motors.
I am working on making another wood frame solar panel to see if i can get it sealed as good as the glass. I may make an instructable on it.
I hope some of this helps
David at www.solarcells101.com