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Mini DIY Solar Project  RSS feed

 
Kenny Garcia
Posts: 85
Location: Southern California
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So im trying to make a mini solar panel just to learn a thing or two about solar power. I used electric tape to tape the tabbing wire to the cells. Should that work? Cause im not getting any voltage. Also if it doesn't what is the best way to solder on the tabbing wire to the cells? I tried using soldering wire but it was a pain and was not working which is why i went with the tape. So basically, does tape work for tabbing wire and if not what is the best way to solder it on?





Thanks so much!

Kenny
 
Jt Reed
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I've never "wired my own," but I would not recommend tape for anything more than testing. Maybe not even that. The primary reason is that panels get hot and the adhesion would probably loosen & break the connection(s). As for voltage, test them individually first. If *ANY* of them are bad, you will get nothing. This is because they're wired in series ...to increase voltage. Test them one by one to weed out any bad ones first. Then you can isolate the problem. For better soldering, you'll need flux. Otherwise the solder may just ball up and not create a useful film/bond between metals. Good luck!

Oh... and there's a polarity to them (you probably knew this), so make sure positive connects to negative of next panel, repeat, until only one positive & negative are left.
 
Kenny Garcia
Posts: 85
Location: Southern California
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okay thanks for the tips jt reed
 
Dave Brik
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Good luck with your project! It's better to do something then nothing. I think you need a good DIY solar panels guide, maybe to search on internet. What solar cells are you use?
As I know you need to solder them as JT Reed said, positive to negative. To build solar panel you also need to have a box to place and stick these array of solar cells.
 
Adam Poddepie
Posts: 68
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Also, you're going to want to incorporate a a diode. Solar panels will flow either direction, so you need a diode to restrict it to one or the other. Simple soldering one inline will fix this problem. Also, you can buy solder glue online, which works just fine. It's a lot easier than soldering for those who aren't used to it.

Also, simply applying a wire down the middle of the panel is going to significantly decrease your efficiency. To improve this, attach your leads to opposite, diagonal corners. You want your electricity to flow across the panel, and it will always take the path of least resistance. Let me know how it goes, best of luck!
 
Glenn Underhill
Posts: 95
Location: NW Montana
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There are some good videos on youtube about tabbing cells. Also if you just want to do some testing, Amazon sells a panel by Instapark that costs fairly reasonable. I wired a 5 watt and a 10 watt together and they do a good job of charging my smartphone.
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 376
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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The tape won't last long - expecially if you put the cells into a panel for protection (HIGHLY recommended to protect the cells if you want years of life!)

Go ahead and solder the tabs - I agree the Youtube videos cover this pretty well..
 
Dave Brik
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Kenny, make shure you tabbing wire is thick enough, say 18-20 mm. Good tabbing wire is made of solid copper coated with solder. Some other tabbing wires are made of tin which doesn't adhere well. Do you know from what material your wire is made of?
 
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