Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

Ornithocheirus
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 8 May 2008
Age: 169
Gender: Male
Posts: 26

22 May 2008, 4:43 pm

Just wondering,since i'd like the idea of creating my own source of power and possibly having enough to sell some to my neighbors and being less reliant on gas and other fossil fuels :D What would i need?



Encyclopedia
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2008
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 110
Location: Utah

23 May 2008, 12:55 am

There are several techniques. Don't expect anything you make yourself to be as efficient as what you could get out of a laboratory though. You just don't have the equipment for it.

These are some techniques for making your own photovoltaics:

http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/eche ... #solarcell

http://www.solideas.com/solrcell/english.html

I haven't made these myself, so I don't know how well they work.

There are also more indirect means to collect solar energy. You could probably build a crude parabolic mirror out of foil or use a cheap Fresnel lens to focus light onto a thermopile or Stirling engine to convert the heat to electricity.

This is also interesting:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 225026.htm

I don't know if you could easily make that yourself though.

Honestly though, I don't know if you could make enough electricity to sell from these things to make up for the cost of building them.



wolphin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 502

23 May 2008, 5:30 am

Presumably you could make a crude one in a small-scale fab, but the larger higher-efficiency ones you see used for power generation are much more complex to manufacture and require a pretty sophisticated setup to make (for the nice single-crystal ones, even the equipment just to cut the silicon crystal to the right size is expensive)

Perhaps you could do so as a hobbyist project, but if you seriously want to generate electricity you're better off buying the commercially made panels.



spudnik
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,176
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

23 May 2008, 10:00 pm

there are several types of solar panels, one is photovoltaic which are semiconductor devices made out of silicon, and would need to be purchased, the second type are solar thermal, which use a liquid that is passed though tubes on a black metal panel the is covered in glass, the liquid is then passed though a heat exchanger and used right away, or it can be stored in a heatsink which is a large thermal mass, I don't think it would be practical for producing power with the solar thermal panels, but you can heat your home and pool with one. Iwould be very impractical to try to manufacture the silicon panels since it is a process that requires a clean room environment and uses toxic chemicals to create the semiconductors



Ichinin
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,653
Location: A cold place with lots of blondes.

31 Mar 2017, 9:03 am

If anyone is still interested, there are now cheap solar panels from $2 per panel that give 6v 0.5A if you import them from China.

Just serial connect for increased voltage and/or parallel for increased amps, add a charge regulator, deep cycle batteries and an inverter to get 120-240 volt and you are off grid and don't have to pay for energy ever again. If you are in a country that use AC you also need a DC->AC converter.

There is also lots of people on youtube showing how to make the actual panels themselves, but it can be pricey if you don't make many at once. Better to just buy small pre-made panels and assemble them into larger ones, you can even buy a few every month and assemble into larger ones if you're on a limited budget.


_________________
"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" (Carl Sagan)