My attempt to build a solar panel is moving along slowly. I have a few of my 7th grade students helping me during our lunch half hour. The box is now almost complete. I attached two 1″ x 2″ on the back to help straighten out the plywood. The plywood was a little warped and I thought best to make it as flat as possible.
The trim wood was attached using 3/4 ” x 3/4 ” using screws from the back. We drilled small holes to make sure we didn’t split the wood. I think I had about five different kids each having a turn with the drill. We then painted it white with two coats of paint. I have a 2 foot x 4 foot piece of plexiglass ready to put on top. I’ll drill small holes around the perimeter to hold it down. I’ll also put some clear outdoor calk around to make it waterproof.
I ordered the solar cells from ebay for $ 129.00. This included some solder, flux and tabbing wire. Everything came in a box, and nothing was broken. I lined up three rows of 12 cells for a total of 36 cells. This should give about 18 volts, more than enough to charge a 12 volt battery. I hope this is not too much to charge the battery, but I’ll look into this and find more information about charging.
The next step is to solder all the cells in series. I’ll start this soon. I have a few 8th grade students that want to help but I may do most of it at home. The only tool that I need to buy is a pencil style soldering iron. I’ll get this at the store today so I can start to solder this week. I hope to have this completed in two weeks.
Edit: Part one is here