Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PV Panel for Sunbox 2

13 April : I have managed to get a damaged Photovoltaic panel from EvoEnergy of the sort I want - a Sharp NU180w - the right frame size and capacity. It had been dropped in the warehouse and was a write off with all the toughened glass front completely crazed, and the whole side frame bent and the extrusion damaged. I got the side frame off and straightened it and worked the extrusion damage out with a bit of effort - the alloy is very hard. Nothing I can do about the glass, but I reglazed the crazed panel into the repaired frame, in its neoprene cushion.
  Put it out in the Sun, and tried with a multimeter....  and it is generating nearly 30 volts!  (of course, it's amps that really matter, and result in some watts of output. Not sure if my simple meter can measure watts.... but if I measure amps, I can multiply.)

  I am wondering if a clear polycarbonate cover to it would be considered 'shading' by the cells underneath. Even the 'Clear' polycarbonate I have used is called 'PalSun' and makes some claim about cutting out solar gain - I couldn't find Completely Clear when buying it for the Surya Sunboxes. I would add more aluminium to the frame and overlay it with 6mm or 4mm polycarbonate to waterproof and protect it. Although it is toughened glass, there are lots of little shards coming off it, and it needs a cover would keep it dry. I guess you can't let water under the glass as you would get shorting everywhere. I wish I had some spare Polycarbonate to put over it.
  I am also annoyed that I used to have a small Inverter that was ideal for use in the car, eg running a laptop off the cigar socket in the car. This same inverter could be used to convert DC from this panel to AC for use in the house.... but it is lurking in the loft somewhere.

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