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  #1  
Old 11-10-2010, 12:05 PM
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Default [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

[quote]Dan Baker wrote:
> I think I have found a way to build them but I need to find some
>tempered glass. I've seen others just glue the cells face down (by
>their backs only) to the glass with a corrosion free watertight
>silicone.

Lee Hart answered:
> This works, but you need the right sealant. I used Dow Corning 1-2577
> conformal coating, which is rated for this application.
> Lay the cells face down on the glass, wire them up, and test them.
> Make a dam around the edges of the glass with tape, level it,
> then pour about 1/8" of 1-2577 on it. Look on the bottom,
> and slide and move the cells as needed to work out any
> air bubbles between the cells and glass. When it cures,
> you'll have a waterproof assembly that won't degrade or
> yellow with age and from UV light.

This is pretty much how you can make your own solar panels,
there is a nice set of 3 videos on Youtube by MarkP0177
who actually shows you the whole thing on camera.
He uses Sylgard 184 which is another Dow Corning
product, but costs three times as much as 1-2577
and you will see him apply just a minimal layer of
this stuff to his panels, just enough to protect the
cells but not more.
In fact, I did a calculation, if you want to build a
panel of 100 Watt then it is almost 1 square meter
(about 10 sqft) and pouring 1/8" (3mm) layer would mean
that you are putting about 3 liter of coating on it.
Even for the low cost 1-2577 (or 1-2620) this means
that you are pouring about $120 in coating on the panel
which means that it is no longer cost effective compared
to getting complete panels, unless you luck out on Ebay
and get the cells almost for free. The added costs for
glass, frames and wiring together with this amount of
pottant bring the cost to the same level (about $3 per Watt)

However, if you follow what I saw in the videos and try to
just coat the cells and the area between with about 1mm
layer of pottant, then the price per panel drops almost
$100 but you must take good care to let the pottant flow
under the cells and cover them all completely. The video
explains (but does not show) a vibrating table to help this.

Lee - wat price do you pay for your pottant, any places
where it can be had for less than about $35 per KG?
And do you use open terminal strip as shown in the video
or a real Junction Box with cover like offered by the
Ebay seller heartofthesun-fo in auction number 170558932473

Cor van de Water
Director HW & Systems Architecture Group
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: xxx@xxx.xxx Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: xxx@xxx.xxx
Tel: +1 408 383 7626 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203 XoIP: +31877841130

-----Original Message-----
From: xxx@xxx.xxx.edu [mailto:xxx@xxx.xxx.edu] On
Behalf Of Lee Hart
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 10:45 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

On 8/29/2010 8:35 AM, [quote]Dan Baker wrote:
> Yes these would be excellent PM controllers, however they cost as much

> or more than the motors (paid $100 each + tax for them at local
store).

One source of cheap (in all senses of the word) controllers are junked
electric scooters. They generally have two 12v batteries in series, and
so are 24v input. They drive a single 24v motor, but in your case, you
can connect the two 12v motors in series and the controller won't know
the difference.

You'll want to measure the actual current that the motors draw, and pick
a controller that can deliver at least this much (preferably 2 or 3
times more if you're using Chinese controllers). A "250 watt" controller
means 250w/24v = 10.4 amps max. If you really have 410 watt motors, they
would draw 410w/12v = 34.2 amps, but I suspect that is marketing
baloney.

> Of course the next step might be to go with a single motor retrofitted

> to an old outboard bottom end

A friend of mine has done just that. I think it's an old 24v floor
scrubber motor, rated at roughly 2 HP, mated to a dead outboard motor's
lower end. It worked out extremely well.

> Once I ever get the solar panel built, it will put out 280 watts in
> full sunshine. Since a leisure boat spends 99% of it's life parked the

> panel should keep the batteries charged for weekend excursions.

That's a reasonable strategy. But again, I'd be surprised if the PV
panels ever deliver their rated power.

> I think I have found a way to build them but I need to find some
>tempered glass. I've seen others just glue the cells face down (by
>their backs only) to the glass with a corrosion free watertight
>silicone.

This works, but you need the right sealant. I used Dow Corning 1-2577
conformal coating, which is rated for this application. Lay the cells
face down on the glass, wire them up, and test them. Make a dam around
the edges of the glass with tape, level it, then pour about 1/8" of
1-2577 on it. Look on the bottom, and slide and move the cells as needed
to work out any air bubbles between the cells and glass. When it cures,
you'll have a waterproof assembly that won't degrade or yellow with age
and from UV light.

> I've thought of putting something on the front barrels to smooth the
> flow however I haven't found anything yet that is strong enough to
> take the odd run a ground or hitting a rock.

My cousin built a boat rather like yours, except he made the pontoons
out of plywood for each side. They were square of course. :-) Just a
ramp in the front. But then he filled them with that self-expanding foam
insulation. Beware; it expands quite forcefully; his first attempt
pushed the sides off the plywood pontoons!

So, I imagine you could slice the end from your front barrels, force it
flat with some bolts, and then blow it full of this foam. This would
give you a point on the front, yet it would still be "unsinkable".

> Would I be able to reduce/increase power to the motors to steer?

Generally yes. Electric motors are pretty tough, and can easily run at
2x rated voltage and current for a short time. The propellers might
cavitate though if you run them too fast.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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  #2  
Old 11-11-2010, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

Lee, How did that pail you bought 5 years ago work out? I've heard that
many of these encapsulants will eventually yellow. I still haven't finished
my panels alhough they are pretty well built. I had some old 1/2"
plastic sheets that I recycled by gluing them to a pressure treated frame.
I then sealed everything with silicone. I will glue the cells down with a
non corrosive orange RTV gasket maker and cover the whole assembly with 1/4
plexi. The enclosures (2) will be somwhat heavy (40 lbs each) but should be
sturdy and safe for the top of the boat. I fretted about glass as I
couldn't find a piece of tempered to fit and worried about shards of regular
glass falling on hapless boaters and swimmers from above if they ever
broke:-(



[quote] Lee Hart <xxx@xxx.xxx> wrote:

> On 11/10/2010 12:59 PM, Cor van de Water wrote:
> > Lee - what price do you pay for your [Dow Corning 1-2577] pottant,
> > any places where it can be had for less than about $35 per KG?
>
> I bought a 3.4kg pail from Ellsworth Adhesives for about $100 about 5
> years ago. Hmm... they list the price as $130.98 today.
>
> http://www.ellsworth.com/display/productlisting.html?vendorID=138&productLineID=17& subCategoryID=&PageNumber=-1&Tab=Vendors
> --
> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2010, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

I know I might veer off topic here, but I really don't understand the
fascination with building PV panels ...
It is the last thing I'd want to DIY, on an EV or otherwise.

I know you are going to save money, but weigh that against 25 year
warranties, guaranteed weather
proofing, glass that is manufactured to take hail, standard racking etc ...
I'd put money on a mainstream manufacturers module beating out all but the
*best* home built
modules over 20+ years, if they last that long ....

On the other hand, if it works for you and your comfortable, go for it.
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

Yes, putting panels together, soldering etc is a lot of effort and then
hoping for long life is wishful thinking. However the biggest issue I have
with commercial ones is cost. I paid $249 for 480 watts worth of B+cells
including tabbing wire and solder and I have spend about $110 in building
enclosures. I know I'm dreaming if I get all that wattage but the cheapest
250 watt panel on ebay is $700. I have heard that manufactured
panels aren't that more than homemade but so far I haven't found anything
that is at least 4x more. Now if anyone knows where I can find them cheaper
please tell me...

[quote] Dave Hymers <xxx@xxx.xxx> wrote:

> I know I might veer off topic here, but I really don't understand the
> fascination with building PV panels ...
> It is the last thing I'd want to DIY, on an EV or otherwise.
>
> I know you are going to save money, but weigh that against 25 year
> warranties, guaranteed weather
> proofing, glass that is manufactured to take hail, standard racking etc ...
> I'd put money on a mainstream manufacturers module beating out all but the
> *best* home built
> modules over 20+ years, if they last that long ....
>
> On the other hand, if it works for you and your comfortable, go for it.
> -------------- next part --------------
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2010, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

[quote] Dave Hymers <xxx@xxx.xxx> wrote:
> I know I might veer off topic here, but I really don't understand the
> fascination with building PV panels ...

There's one good and valid reason: you can build them into panels that
are curved to the shape you want for aerodynamic or styling reasons.
Other than that, you're right, you're better of buying them ready made.

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  #6  
Old 11-12-2010, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

It puzzles me a bit too - for US residents. As you say the amount of =

effort that goes into it must make DIY a bit marginal compared with =

OTS units. BUT, if a/ you don't have much cash and your time is cheap =

or b/ you don't live in the US then it will make sense financially and =

as someone else has pointed out, practically, if you need odd shapes. =

Of course in the UK OTS PV costs the same in =A3 what it costs in USD in =

the US so there is a big incentive to go the DIY route. And, hey, =

it's fun!

But, as I have mentioned before, what puzzles me even more is this:- =

there are PV products available now that are so cheap to install that =

the cost of buying and installing a PV array capable of satisfying all =

ones domestic needs (assuming you have enough space) compares with =

buying it off the grid. Now why can't we BUY them? Why isn't every =

government in the world forcing the patent holders/manufacturers to =

get their product out into the market so we can stop this oil nonsense =

now?

Anyone? (OK, I know the answer already).

Regards, Martin Winlow
Herts, UK
http://www.evalbum.com/2092
www.winlow.co.uk

[quote] Dan Baker wrote:

> Yes, putting panels together, soldering etc is a lot of effort and =

> then
> hoping for long life is wishful thinking. However the biggest issue =

> I have
> with commercial ones is cost. I paid $249 for 480 watts worth of B =

> +cells
> including tabbing wire and solder and I have spend about $110 in =

> building
> enclosures. I know I'm dreaming if I get all that wattage but the =

> cheapest
> 250 watt panel on ebay is $700. I have heard that manufactured
> panels aren't that more than homemade but so far I haven't found =

> anything
> that is at least 4x more. Now if anyone knows where I can find them =

> cheaper
> please tell me...
>
> On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 8:12 PM, Dave Hymers <xxx@xxx.xxx> =

> wrote:
>
>> I know I might veer off topic here, but I really don't understand the
>> fascination with building PV panels ...
>> It is the last thing I'd want to DIY, on an EV or otherwise.
>>
>> I know you are going to save money, but weigh that against 25 year
>> warranties, guaranteed weather
>> proofing, glass that is manufactured to take hail, standard racking =

>> etc ...
>> I'd put money on a mainstream manufacturers module beating out all =

>> but the
>> *best* home built
>> modules over 20+ years, if they last that long ....
>>
>> On the other hand, if it works for you and your comfortable, go for =

>> it.






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  #7  
Old 11-12-2010, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

Dan,

Normally you either buy tempered glass the size you specify or you get
a sheet of ordinary float glass cut to size and then send it off and
get it tempered. And it is *AMAZINGLY* strong. Still brittle though,
so BIG hail will still be an issue. But that's relatively uncommon
(certainly over here). Won't plexxi-glass yellow and go brittle in
time?

Regards, Martin Winlow
Herts, UK
http://www.evalbum.com/2092
www.winlow.co.uk

[quote] Dan Baker wrote:

> Lee, How did that pail you bought 5 years ago work out? I've heard
> that
> many of these encapsulants will eventually yellow. I still haven't
> finished
> my panels alhough they are pretty well built. I had some old 1/2"
> plastic sheets that I recycled by gluing them to a pressure treated
> frame.
> I then sealed everything with silicone. I will glue the cells down
> with a
> non corrosive orange RTV gasket maker and cover the whole assembly
> with 1/4
> plexi. The enclosures (2) will be somwhat heavy (40 lbs each) but
> should be
> sturdy and safe for the top of the boat. I fretted about glass as I
> couldn't find a piece of tempered to fit and worried about shards of
> regular
> glass falling on hapless boaters and swimmers from above if they ever
> broke:-(
>
>
>
> On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Lee Hart <xxx@xxx.xxx>
> wrote:
>
>> On 11/10/2010 12:59 PM, Cor van de Water wrote:
>>> Lee - what price do you pay for your [Dow Corning 1-2577] pottant,
>>> any places where it can be had for less than about $35 per KG?
>>
>> I bought a 3.4kg pail from Ellsworth Adhesives for about $100 about 5
>> years ago. Hmm... they list the price as $130.98 today.
>>
>> http://www.ellsworth.com/display/productlisting.html?vendorID=138&productLineID=17& subCategoryID=&PageNumber=-1&Tab=Vendors
>> --
>> Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
>> 814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
>> Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
>> leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard
>> Cohen
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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Regards, Martin Winlow
Herts, UK
http://www.evalbum.com/2092
www.winlow.co.uk



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  #8  
Old 11-12-2010, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

[quote] Martin WINLOW <m.xxx@xxx.xxx>wrote:

> Now why can't we BUY them? Why isn't every
> government in the world forcing the patent holders/manufacturers to
> get their product out into the market so we can stop this oil nonsense
> now?
>
>
Huh? You CAN buy them, and most manufacturers are booked out with their
production sold 6 months in advance.... if you're talking about PV modules,
that is.
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2010, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

[quote] Zeke Yewdall wrote:

> On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM, Martin WINLOW <m.xxx@xxx.xxx
> >wrote:
>
>> Now why can't we BUY them? Why isn't every
>> government in the world forcing the patent holders/manufacturers to
>> get their product out into the market so we can stop this oil
>> nonsense
>> now?
>>
>>
> Huh? You CAN buy them, and most manufacturers are booked out with
> their
> production sold 6 months in advance.... if you're talking about PV
> modules,
> that is.
> -------------- next part --------------

I'm refering to thin film solar - specifically NanoSolar - who appear
only interested in enormous ie MW PV installations. All we can buy is
pants 2nd gen PV with relatively low efficiency and high cost. Please
tell me I'm mistaken (and tell me where I can buy some!).

Regards, Martin Winlow
Herts, UK
http://www.evalbum.com/2092
www.winlow.co.uk

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  #10  
Old 11-12-2010, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: [EVDL] Solar panel DIY, was: Hello/ new to the scene/ my wooden electric boat!

Ah.... frankly, I'm not that interested in the thin film (not being able
to buy it only being part of the disinterest). I trust the standard
cyrstalline PV over the newer thin film and nanosolar stuff. 35 year track
record for stability and efficiency is better than any of the thin film
that's commercially available (even if it's not available to residential).
None of the thin film has a track record for being stable that long, and has
historically had problems degrading quite quickly (like 5% a year, vs 0.5%
for crystalline silicon)... Not to say that it's not being fixed, but we
don't know for sure yet... I've been in this industry for 15+ years, and
I've seen lots of "forward looking statements" aimed more at investors than
contractors -- about 5% of them turn into real products that meet what the
predictions stated, and usually 5 to 8 years after you first hear about
them.... Since I've been looking at it, the price of crystalline PV has
halved or more. A 230 watt panel costs about the same now as the first 40
watt panel my dad bought in 1983. Still expensive, it's true, but from my
perspective, it's gotten dirt cheap compared to what it used to be.

Z

[quote] Martin WINLOW <m.xxx@xxx.xxx>wrote:

>
>
> On 12 Nov 2010, at 13:40, Zeke Yewdall wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM, Martin WINLOW <m.xxx@xxx.xxx
> > >wrote:
> >
> >> Now why can't we BUY them? Why isn't every
> >> government in the world forcing the patent holders/manufacturers to
> >> get their product out into the market so we can stop this oil
> >> nonsense
> >> now?
> >>
> >>
> > Huh? You CAN buy them, and most manufacturers are booked out with
> > their
> > production sold 6 months in advance.... if you're talking about PV
> > modules,
> > that is.
> > -------------- next part --------------
>
> I'm refering to thin film solar - specifically NanoSolar - who appear
> only interested in enormous ie MW PV installations. All we can buy is
> pants 2nd gen PV with relatively low efficiency and high cost. Please
> tell me I'm mistaken (and tell me where I can buy some!).
>
> Regards, Martin Winlow
> Herts, UK
> http://www.evalbum.com/2092
> www.winlow.co.uk
>
> _______________________________________________
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