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Author Topic: DIY SOLAR PV ENCLOSURE  (Read 5319 times)
aoi3610
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« on: April 22, 2010, 02:45:43 PM »

Hi all, I'm new here, but have been looking into solar PV for ages now, I bit the bullet a couple of months ago and ended up here.

I've developed and am now selling a DIY PV Enclosure Kit that addesses most of the DIY PV installation issues:

I don't want to punt for business, but am looking for thoughts?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220593972502&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

I'd appreciate the thoughts of others who've been doing this for some time.
I have close ups of the bits if needed?

Thanks in advance.

Tony

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aoi3610
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 06:35:59 PM »

45 Views, not 1 reply?

I hope I've not upset anyone already?

:-)
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martin
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 06:46:54 PM »

Lets be frank, you've obviously caught me on a good day as I haven't automatically nuked what most people would class as a "spam" link. I actually took the time to give it a quick shooftie, and I'm a little lost to understand where your market will be........... you're asking 100 for a diy kit that will, when you add the appropriate cells, make a 70w panel, with no indication of the costs involved in sourcing the panels - how much are they going to be? (without launching into a sales pitch)
Over the history of the board there have been a couple of mentions of "diy" pv panels, but they've never been particularly "mainstream" - how would a complete panel compare for cost against a pukka factory-made job? Smiley
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 06:50:44 PM by martin » Logged

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JohnS
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2010, 06:59:49 PM »

Especially as DIY panels would not be eligible for FITs.
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aoi3610
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2010, 07:15:14 PM »

I'm sorry Martin, no spam was meant, just opinions.

Market? I've seen thousand of lots of 36 solar cells sold, people must be "self" building PV Solar?

I tried loads of methods of making a good enclosure, it ain't cheap.

What do cells cost? 1 watt if imported, perhaps 0.75p if you import 300+
So 70w panel for 170. A little less than a cheaper chinese import, with a warranty from a company in Korea that'll never last.

Saving over a nice shiney Kyocera panel, quite a bit I guess, making money was not my end goal, it was in there, but if you add up the cost of the UPVC extrusion, the Alumpany, the Glass, Film, bit's n bobs, packaging, paperwork, warranty, 100's cheap? (The glass costs 27.00 in that size alone, and an 8' x 4' sheet of Alupanel is 70, (3 out of a sheet).

Hopefully you can see financial gain was not my end goal, I make money from TV Spares, this is a bit of a hobby.

I'd sell the UPVC Channel on it's own if that's what people wanted, but after sourcing the other bits, you're gonna pay 100 anyway with fuel and all?

I guess bigger savings would be made on the larger panel, but that's not the whole point?
Most people also like the experience of building the panel? Wouldn't it be nice if it actually worked for some time.

Obviously at 170, some time is involved, it took me 3 hours to string my 36 cells together, and I broke 2 doing it. :-(

Thanks, and again, I had no intention of upsettign anyone, however so many times businesses don't ask their target audience what they want?
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martin
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2010, 07:20:02 PM »

Thanks for the explanation - there may be a market in schools as a learning project if you put together a "complete" kit - what better way for kids to learn than actually put a panel together? (Then see it working) Wink
As has already been mentioned, I can't see it being mainstream, but you may find a hobbyist/schools market! Good luck!
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breezy
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2010, 08:52:56 PM »

I wonder why you're specifying low-iron glass? It must add extra cost, and the benefits are minimal.

Have you considered using laminated instead of toughened? Much cheaper, just as safe, although it will be about 50% heavier.
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aoi3610
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 10:10:01 PM »

Paying  only 4 extra for Low iron glass, considered offering it as an option, in the scheme of things, over the life of the panel it should make a good investment.

I will however look into laminated, weight is under a commercial panel at 17kg/m2. (Would it need to be thicker, the profile is for a 4mm section.

Can also supply in a 30mm section, ruggedised as it were.

I thought about schools, in time perhaps, they'd probably want it for nothing.

To be perfectly honest , no DIY Solar is "Mainstream" really, is it?
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breezy
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 10:43:38 PM »

The nearest size in "lam" is 6.4mm

4% on wholesale cost is a lot extra, IMHO. If you are working on a 30% margin (I'm guessing) it makes a huge difference to your net profit. I wish you luck - I think there is a market for your package for those of us that like to "tinker".
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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 12:59:50 AM »

Interesting - I could cover my curved boat cabin with PV this way, but I would have to use clear polycarbonate (glass would soon be broken). Also the polycarb could bend to follow the roof curve and I would use plywood backing for each cell.

Any thoughts?

cheers
Paul
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Billy
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 06:56:27 AM »

Hi Paul,

Been done before, the clever bit is joining things up to allow for sail/mast/rigging blah blah shading. Not to mention the shady side.  But is it worth it for the cost as surely you can't beat a well directed panel?  Perhaps with the new controllers it might be but even they can't make the sun shine on a shady panel.

One of my customers purchased (against my advice) an 80w flexible panel and stuck it on the deck behind the mast and is complaining about poor performance.   wackoold

Apart from the shading and the fact that half is pointing away from the sun he never washes the salt spray off!

Billy

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aoi3610
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 09:49:06 AM »

The normal kits I've made use a 25mm x 20mm UPVC Double channel to lock everything together, with an 8mm gap between the back and glass.

I also have the same edging in 30mm x 25mm with a 10mm gap which is a bit tougher. It is what I was gonna use on "Rugged" panels with Polycarbonate Fronts, for say yachts, caravans etc.

Polycarbonate is expensive though, especially once it gets to 4 / 5mm thick. I checked. Quite flexible too. I had considered it for the back panel, but it is just not rigid enough at 4mm, unlike Alupanel, it's shockingly strong.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2010, 09:52:11 AM by aoi3610 » Logged
MR GUS
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 09:57:16 AM »

 welcome aoi3610.

 Hope you find the forum useful, as you can see we have scrutineers down the the last "nth" ..which is very handy, I watch, read & learn it's a lot better in debate form than reams of  pdf on the net, great form of tutoring.
(a navi-versity almost)
have fun, ask questions & be ready for alot of "stuff" to plough through!  Grin

.. &watch out for "frotter"  whistlie
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aoi3610
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 10:25:21 AM »

Hopefully those scrutineers will help develop a better, cheaper DIY enclosure, which should help everyone.

I've just chucked the special channel on a listing on it's own, then anyone can use bit's and pieces they have lying about.

It's much cheaper.
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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 10:56:37 PM »

Hi Paul,

Been done before, the clever bit is joining things up to allow for sail/mast/rigging blah blah shading. Not to mention the shady side.  But is it worth it for the cost as surely you can't beat a well directed panel?  Perhaps with the new controllers it might be but even they can't make the sun shine on a shady panel.

One of my customers purchased (against my advice) an 80w flexible panel and stuck it on the deck behind the mast and is complaining about poor performance.   wackoold

Apart from the shading and the fact that half is pointing away from the sun he never washes the salt spray off!

Billy

 Grin Grin Grin


Thanks Billy, I have several aluminium backed 6W panels but only 4 will fit on my sliding hatch. Its the only flat surface apart from the seats. I might be able to stick 1 more either side of the cabin fed with diodes to pick up sun from the side.  So I was thinking of ways of covering the curved roof...but thanks for your feedback.

Like you said another panel tied on could be propped up manually.

-Paul
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30 tube thermal,
2.3kW PV see:
http://www.solarmanpv.com/portal/Terminal/TerminalMain.aspx?come=Public&pid=17067

LED lighting in every room
NO tumble dryer, +370 kWh per year
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