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Solar Panel Kits

Herbert Said:

Are you familier with the Power4Home solar panel kit and wind generator? I know it's just info is it any good?

We Answered:

Many of the build it yourself sites are offering a very generic booklet that does not contain useful information. You can read a great review of one of them at http://www.nlcpr.com/Deceptions6.php

Excerpt from their review:

"The gist of their claims is this:

* Get cheap broken or used solar cells on e-bay. They show screen prints of auctions starting at 99 cents but all you e-bayers know that the prices gets bid up considerably. Solder it all together and make your panels.
* Ask forklift operators for free, used batteries (assuming they are going to throw out batteries that still function)
* Get a DC motor from e-bay and make a wind mill from it."

Even if you do find a good instruction manual, home made panels cannot be connected to the electric grid, as they are not UL listed. If you really want to add solar to your house, buy factory made panels. The price has dropped a lot this year, and with rebates and credits, they are becoming more affordable. Check out the DSIRE site below to see any rebates available in your area.

Dwight Said:

how can i build a basic solar panel kit for my green house. I would like to use recovered materials?

We Answered:

Get a coil of 10mm copper pipe from a plumbers' merchant. Do not uncoil it and build a squat 'cold-frame' to enclose it. Paint the coil with black paint. Plumb one end to a small reservoir (and water supply) and the other to radiators(?) inside the greenhouse. The coil will heat up inside the frame and hot water will create convection flow in the coil. But a pump will improve the flow if you can get one driven by solar/wind power.

Darrell Said:

how to make a solar panel without any kit?

We Answered:

There are 2 kinds of solar cell/panel. Electrical and thermal.

Passive thermal is the easiest. It can be made with clear glass bottles or jars. The bottles or jars must first be cleaned and sterilized to prevent the growth of algae or bacteria. Fill these about 90% full with water that has 1 tsp of chlorine bleach per gallon. Put the caps or lids on tight. Seal with hot melt or other waterproof glue like RTV silicone. Arrange these in an array. You can use cement or just build a wood frame. Even simpler is just to put the bottles on a board or window sill. Place this in a sunny spot. The water will be heated by the solar radiation and will stay warm several hours after the sun is no longer shining on them.

A an active thermal cell is different. For this you need a medium to heat. Silicon oil is often used but your could just use water. You need a collector, reservoir, heat sink, and circulating pump. These must be arranged in a manner so that the medium (water) is pumped to the collector where it is heated. It passes through the heat sink to transfer the heat and then returns to the reservoir.

To make an electrical panel you can buy components. Photovoltaic cells and the components to mount them, wire them and then change the current generated into a type and voltage you can use.

Fred Said:

What is a 45 WATT solar panel kit able to power?

We Answered:

Not much. Might be just enough to charge a mobile phone.

For example my iphone charger is 240V and is capable of delivering 0.15A therefore 240Vx0.15A=36W
Of course in the US it would be 110Vx0.15A=16.5W

So yeah it would charge a mobile phone but thats about it.

Valerie Said:

Is a 3 volt solar panel with a 6.5 mA broken?

We Answered:

It would help if you told us the size of the panel. Were your measurements made in bright sun?
3 volts x 6.5 mA = 20 mW

The smallest one I found for sale has a power level of 80 mW, 4 times the one you have. It has an area of about 10 cm² or about 1.6 square inches. If your panel is a lot smaller, then that may be normal.

But I think it is damaged.

.

Beatrice Said:

I want a solar panel kit that can run a space heater for a few hours when the power goes out?

We Answered:

MOST electric space heaters are a MINIMUM of 1000 watts of 120v power.
You would need at least 1500 watts of solar + a charge controller + batteries + an inverter. (THIS allows for the inefficiency of the conversion/storage units.)

Might I suggest a propane, kerosene, or diesel space heater instead.

Kay Said:

What kind of solar panel kit would I need to power my garage?

We Answered:

power4home.com has a d.i.y. information kit to build your own for less than 100 bucks.the kit costs about 40.

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