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Completely uneducated in solar Answered

So...I've been looking at making a solar panel, but have no idea about where to start whatsoever. I'm a big "go green" person and want to try solar panels now(even moreso now that my electric company has gone crazy with their charges) I've browsed the instructables on making your own, but I get confused easily with the directions(Yes..I need it broken down like a 5 year old). I found an old glass storm window in my basement and was wondering...is it possible to convert that into a solar panel for starters? Or does it have to be a specific kind of glass? Apologies if this has been asked already, but I can't browse through the hundreds-thousands of posts to double check. Thanks in advance!


Here is a web site that explains the aspects of setting up a small solar set up that may help understand what's involved.

Yeah, it does depend someone on the "type" of glass it is. Some glass blocks UV rays, some are polarized to a mild extent (some automobile glass does both of these), some would reduce the amount of IR light (which would be what heated your water or air) as an insulator (some window glass). I am not certain how you'd determine this though, unless you contacted the manufacturer of the glass, and then, you'd have to know who that was.

Darn! The spare window in the basement is from a very long time ago(70s or so) and there is no sticker on it :( It's a storm window so it could possibly work, but I'm not sure. I just wanted to do something with it instead of putting it out near the trash for someone to collect money off of. If you know of any great ideas or resources to use this window with, please point me in the right direction. I just joined the site and and somewhat overwhelemed in a good way with all the creative ideas and inventions.

Let me try something in the form of a test and get back to you on that.....

Oh drat, sorry I forgot to check. I was going to test if regular storm window glass blocked UV rays or not, but I am not sure that it matters. What frequency do need for your solar panels....or am I over thinking this and you aren't going to use solar cells?

If you are simply heating air/water, etc.   your windows should work find (they normally don't do a very good job insulating unless there are TWO panes with an air space in between (the air space can but used as insulation).   And I see Kiteman has already confirmed this also  :-)

It depends what you're trying to heat - water or air?

Then I would think your storm window should be fine.