In the 4th video of the Green DIY Energy’s “Build your own solar panel for less than $100” series, you will learn how to assemble the soldered together solar cells on the solar panel.
As per the 3rd video in the series, we will be using the 4 cells across and 9 cells down arrangement. The first step is to check the solar cells connections to make sure they are in good working condition.
Testing the PV Cells
Because there are 9 cells in 1 roll, we are looking at about 4.5 volts of electricity. Since they are connected in series, we are expecting about 2.5 – 3 amps of current when the Photovoltaic (PV) cells are under the sun.
To check this, you have to bring out the multi-meter. To make your task easier, you will also need to use the PV cell testing block.
As you can see in the video, when you are measuring the amperage of the solar cells, you have to be careful not to create any shadow over them or it will reduce the current output.
If there are clouds in the sky, the readings will be lower also and that is okay. If you are getting about 60 percent of the optimum power output from the cells, the 1st roll of solar cells is good to go.
Securing the Cells to the Substrate
To stick the PV cells to the substrate, you need to use the silicone glue. All it takes is a little silicone on the back of the solar cells and it will stick to the solar panel.
It is a good idea to make some markers on the substrate so you’ll know where the first solar cells should go. When the first one is in position, the rest will follow and get into the right intended location.
Connecting the Rows Together
Now that all the cells are stuck to the substrate, you have to connect them together. There will be 4 rolls of solar cells. 1 roll will consist of 9 PV cells.
Now you have to connect each of the rolls together. In essence, we are trying to connect all the 36 solar cells together in series. How do we do that?
There’s a certain way we have to connect the rolls together. The movement of the electrons in the solar cells move in a continuous flow from the first to the last cell. It’s hard to explain but you will understand when you watch the video.
To connect the rolls, you will need a couple of copper wire. Now you have to solder the end of the ribbon tabs from the solar cells to the exposed wire.
You have to get the positive and negative nodes correct when you are doing this or you will short circuit the solar cells. Luckily, since the current generated is very small, it will not damage the cells.
To know more about how to make a Do It Yourself (DIY) solar panel, check out the Green DIY Energy video series.
Related web pages:
1) Green DIY Energy Review – Is Green DIY Energy Another Scam?
2) Is It Possible To Power Your Home With Wind For Less Than $140?
3) 10 Easy Steps to Build a DIY Solar Panel Under $100