Originally posted by robbie carrobie
brilliant, you can buy a kit from ebay for £46.00, my only reservation is how one would mount them and protect them. i thought of a double glazing unit and try to seal it with silicone sealant after the solar panels are inserted, what do you think?
Did you watch his video, with his wife? He mentioned several alternatives, sealing with epoxy being one. It would have to be UV stabilized though otherwise it would only take one summer to ruin and crack the epoxy.
They need to be protected for sure, they are as brittle as a tostada chip.
I can see a better way to solder the power line though. He uses a run of the mill soldering iron but I have lots of experience with electronics and there is a kind of soldering tip that is a long line to desolder IC leads, you press it down more like a cow getting a branding, solders a long strip all at once.
This could be the basis for a business, making the cells then adding a 50 percent profit and reselling them. The idea of it as a business would depend on how fast you can solder them together and how careful you are not to break them.
You need to make an assembly line out of them, for home use or business since you would need hundreds or thousands of them for a real system.
100 of them would be 200 watts max, probably a lot less in reality.
So you would need 1000 or 2000 of them to power a home. Not sure what the size of each cell is, looks like a 3X5 inch postcard. 15 square inches, ten or so to make a square foot. If so, 20 watts max out of an incipient light input of something like 75 watts on the ground max (the light energy hitting the TOP of the atmosphere is around 125 watts per square foot, which is why orbiting satellites generate a lot more energy pound for pound than Earth bound version, they get at least 2X the energy input)
Those cells he showed would probably max out at around 10 percent efficiency, if it was higher than that, it would be all gravy means if you got say 10 watts per square foot into the power meter, 1000 watts would need an area of 100 square feet, or 10 by 10 foot square or 5 by 20 feet. So 2000 watts would need about 10 by 20 feet. But if it generates 2000 watts during daylight hours, since the peak power time of the day is only about 1/3 of the total time for power collection so that would be only about 700 watts spread out over 24 hours. That means if you want 2000 watts 24 hours a day average, you need a cell system generating more like 6000 watts during the day, 4000 watts going into some kind of energy storage, whether battery, compressed air, mechanical rotor, pumping water uphill and using it with a small generator at night, whatever you use to store the energy, then you use the 4000 watts of stored energy to run the house at night till the next cycle of light.
Of course if you have a week long rainstorm you are screwed.
A better way to store energy is to feed power back into the power grid, your watt/hour meter runs backwards, they actually pay you for the electricity you make, then if there is a week-long storm, you are covered. Illegal in some places however, legal here in Pennsylvania.