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How to make a solar panal to power electronics

bendog420

New Member
ok,this is a way to save money on your power bills by powering your fans ,pumps,ect.. with solar power.

what you need

1 pack of 8 garden lights(can be bought from walmart,mine are westinghouse)

piece of wood to mount your panals(get your panals and measure from there)

volt meter

2 switches(optional)

wire

deep cycle car battery

power converter for a car(for taking 12 volt and making it 120-240)

hot glue gun

hot glue
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ok what to do,,ok after you get all of your solar panals out of the cases test each one to make sure you get around the same power from all of them,one bad panel can mess the whole thing up(remember for later)

step 1-open the light case ,use a flat head screwdriver to pop the case open ,


step 2-locate the solar panal and follow the pos and neg back to the green board,cut them as close as you can,now if you got the same ones i did your going to have to cut them out of the plastic top,i took the flathead and CAREFULLY go along the edge and press it into the glue to cut it,they are fragile so be very careful





step 3- ok take your green board and soldiering iron,un-soldier the dioad (spelled wrong) from the board,


after that take one of the solar panals and the dioad ,on the dioad you will see 1 stripe or a few stripes,pos>>--:::|:--,,or --:|:|:|:|::--<<pos,,,
the end that is farthest away from the nearest stripe gets soldiered on the positive wire of your solar panel (in my case it was silver) .


now soldier a piece of wire on the other end of the dioad (makes it easier to hook it up)


step 4-wiring the panels and fixing on wood

ok after you have tested all your panels with your volt meter find somthing suitable to mount them on,i used a piece of wood but if you want to water proof it you can, take the panel with the dioad on it and connect the neg to the positive on another panel,then take that panel and connect its neg with a nother pos until you run out,when you wire the last one leave the neg on it alone for now,,so now you should have a pos end with a dioad and a neg end by itself.once you have the chain of panels made it is time to test,take it outside and connect you volt meter to it,,depending on how many you have and what power they are you should get 12-30 volts on the meter,higher is good,,the ones i bought were better then what i had so i dident want to drain power and stuck with the new 8 for now ,after you work out any kinks it is time to secure them to the mounting surface,i used hot glue and it worked out great because of the way the wires are ,you will want everything secure.i just put one down ,got it even and pooled glue all around the sides and corners,after i had the panels secure i glued down the wires


and this is what it looks like



now onto the power inverter,ive had this one for a while but it doesent put out much,,get one with a high output rating for more power(more things on)

step one-cut cord
cut the cord on the inverter about 2 in below the car plug (incase you ever need it)


ok now that it is ready we will hook it to the battery,just regular pos and neg
hook up,run a pos and neg wire to the solar panel(this is why you needed the other piece of wire on the end of the dioad) hook panel pos to a switch and and batt pos to the other end of the switch ,then hook panel neg to batt neg,so by now the batt should have 2 pos wires and 2 neg wires coming off of it, one pos leads to the switch and one to the inverter,


ok i think i have covered everything,,ive got an extra wire on my batt ,but you only need the switched panels and the inverter_please any questions and i will be more then happy to help
 

bendog420

New Member
Thanks Bendog its easier than I thought:thanks:

If you wanted to make a bigger panel you can buy bigger solar cells on ebay but of course you wouldn't get the wires and diodes with them. They have DYI kits all over ebay and if our members really wanted to get serious they could build a few large ones to cut their electricity bills in half. Of course you have to figure your average kilowatt usage and design the panels to fit your need. here is a good page showing a DYI home panel build
Here is a more detailed DYI on building the panel.
I am all about spreading the Green!

+reps:peace2:
it just seemed easyier to just get them from walmart,,you can get a bigger panel off the net but remember this was just me showing the basics on how to build one,,but yea i had my fans on all night hooked to the battery and the battery has barley lost any power,,im gonna charge it while the sun is out and time it to see how long i can run my lights off of it
 

Hogdady

Plant of the Month: June 2010 - Nug of the Month: July 2010

Green007

New Member
Yo Bendog, so give me some details on how this setup seems to be working for you. For example, how long does it take your panels to charge the battery to 100%? Or does it ever get to 100%? How big is your battery? How many watts are you running off of that battery and for how long per day? ex: a 150W HPS running 12/12. How long does your battery last you before other power sources must kick in and take over? I guess I'm basically wondering what you are using it for and how it is working for you specifically. Give me some details brother.
 

bendog420

New Member
Yo Bendog, so give me some details on how this setup seems to be working for you. For example, how long does it take your panels to charge the battery to 100%? Or does it ever get to 100%? How big is your battery? How many watts are you running off of that battery and for how long per day? ex: a 150W HPS running 12/12. How long does your battery last you before other power sources must kick in and take over? I guess I'm basically wondering what you are using it for and how it is working for you specifically. Give me some details brother.
i havent had to charge it yet but give me a bit,im running 5 12 volt fans since like 5pm yesterday and it only drained it a very small amount,ive got the fans and the inverter with the lights plugged into it now,it doesent seem to change it much,,let me do a few tests and see what brings it down fastest and how long it will take and vice versa .right now ive got it on all the time but it is just to see how long it will take to drain with just a few fans or a single appliance on it,i dont have it hooked to another source yet because im still testing , are you looking for a specific thing to test(air pump,light,ect.)because ill try it first,,but let me get a few details for myself and ill let you in on what i find out
 

diesel farmer

New Member
so you are charging a 12 volt battery with 24 volts? without a charge controller couldnt you over charge that battery? might be dangerous, unless I missed something, lol, I`ve had a few : )
 

bendog420

New Member
so you are charging a 12 volt battery with 24 volts? without a charge controller couldnt you over charge that battery? might be dangerous, unless I missed something, lol, I`ve had a few : )
yes you are right,im just testing with it right now,when i turn on the panals im by the battery with a volt meter watching how quick it charges and after its done i turn them off,i make sure i keep a close eye on it though ,im going to get a charge controller, i just dont have the cash yet,,give me a couple days or so and ill add it in the thread,, like i said i dont have alot of stats on it yet and mine will be inaccurate compared to you if you get a deep cycle battery,mine is basicly for cranking the engine over,deep cycles hold charge alot longer and will take a little longer to charge,,im even working on a smaller/lighter version(for outdoor growing ) and i might try more power and longer charge packs for both,,,im kinda limited to not much money or material(i usually just find junk i have laying around the house to mess with before i invest in materials) so give me a bit on both and if you have any ideas you would like to see incorparated into it just tell me and ill try
 

diesel farmer

New Member
one other thing to add, that thing you are calling a diode is a 16 ohm resistor with +/- 10 % tolerance(read the color bands, diodes dont have them), there should be a diode between every solar module, when posting a thread about electronics or electricity be sure to know what you are talking about, you can hurt people or property, read a book or take a class before you post a thread like this, I`m all for solar tech, I do it for a living, just do a little more research, peace!
 

bendog420

New Member
one other thing to add, that thing you are calling a diode is a 16 ohm resistor with +/- 10 % tolerance(read the color bands, diodes dont have them), there should be a diode between every solar module, when posting a thread about electronics or electricity be sure to know what you are talking about, you can hurt people or property, read a book or take a class before you post a thread like this, I`m all for solar tech, I do it for a living, just do a little more research, peace!
ok i might be wrong but from what i have read the diodes are optional on 24 volt, and should always be used on 36 volt or higher systems.and sorry i said the wrong name,i rushed through making the thread and made a few mistakes ,basicly arent the diodes just there to block power from backtracking into the panals and to bypass a lower volt panel(weak,damaged ect..)??,yes you are right though i guess i should have mentioned it,i have read books and been through classes(not solar classes mind you).i know most of what im talking about i just fuck up a little sometimes,my bad ..peace!
 

Green007

New Member
ok i might be wrong but from what i have read the diodes are optional on 24 volt, and should always be used on 36 volt or higher systems.and sorry i said the wrong name,i rushed through making the thread and made a few mistakes ,basicly arent the diodes just there to block power from backtracking into the panals and to bypass a lower volt panel(weak,damaged ect..)??,yes you are right though i guess i should have mentioned it,i have read books and been through classes(not solar classes mind you).i know most of what im talking about i just fuck up a little sometimes,my bad ..peace!
lol, no prob bro, and yes you are correct on the function of the diode, peace man and good luck with the project : )
That's the beauty of this site, lots of people out there willing to share there knowledge to the benefit of us all.
+reps BD for being honest about a mistake
 

H6251686

New Member
Even thought there was some confusion of diodes and resistors, This is still interesting and I am just a little confused.
In the picture there are 8 panels wired up together and the meter is showing 23.6 volts.
The batteries in these things are just 1 1.5 volts coming out to 12 volts for 8 of them.
So are these things pushing out 3 volts a piece? double the amount of the battery?
 

ConqueringLOJ

Plant of the Month: Aug 2011
Interesting thread! I too would love to see in more detail what this little solar project can do. I'll be watching...
 

Myzz617

New Member
This is a difficult topic to do a thread on but im sure once you get it figured out all will be well. Just dont rush my man, wait for technology to evolve a bit more and it could make life easier on you and this project. And I love the honesty and ability to take constructive criticsim just keep plugging away and remember google is your best friend.
 

bendog420

New Member
This is a difficult topic to do a thread on but im sure once you get it figured out all will be well. Just dont rush my man, wait for technology to evolve a bit more and it could make life easier on you and this project. And I love the honesty and ability to take constructive criticsim just keep plugging away and remember google is your best friend.
lol google is a best friend,,i did rush into it and now its sitting on hold because i need a deep cycle batt,,basicly if you daisychain the panels together it makes it one circuit so it adds each 3 (~) volts to a total (idk if thats how i should explain it but thats how i understand it lol) when i get it figured out though ill make the thread more detailed......stay tuned
 
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