diy solar panel grid tie

this is an update of my diy solar panel with cells from (

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  1. #1 by mrbuki77 at December 22nd, 2009

    Very nicely done. How much were the cells?

  2. #2 by michael970 at December 22nd, 2009

    Hey mrbuki77 I bought about 100 dollars worth of cells. the 3×3 broken cells are your best bet you can get 25 to 30 for around 25 to 30 bucks. the 1.5 x 3s are not as good.its a fun project.I even have some left over for the next one

  3. #3 by Stime64 at December 23rd, 2009

    If I may ask what did you use to incapsulate your cells in?

  4. #4 by michael970 at December 23rd, 2009

    Hey stime64 I just have these cells taped to the plywood and covered with plexiglass.nothing is permanent yet. this is the first attempt so I may need to go back in there several times

  5. #5 by beler11 at January 18th, 2010

    How much did it run you to hook up into the grid?

    These panels give a pretty good output for the price. We used them for a solar robot application. I didn’t notice any mention of bypass or blocking diodes in your array.

    I don’t think one arrangement will have much advantage over the other since it is hooked into the grid and charge time isn’t an issue, but without the use of bypass diodes in the array a shadow from your tree on a small area could greatly reduce the power output.

  6. #6 by michael970 at January 18th, 2010

    hello there the grid tie inverter cost about 130.00 it plugs right into your wall socket it has islanding protection so when the power goes out it shuts off all of my panels have blocking diodes.I got my inverter off ebay.Check out missouri wind and solar they say he has great deals

  7. #7 by beler11 at January 18th, 2010

    Wow that’s a lot cheaper than i thought it would be. Do you also have diodes set up to bypass or just the blocking diodes.

  8. #8 by michael970 at January 19th, 2010

    hey beler11 I only have blocking diodes I dont know about bypass diodes I just got started last year so I dont know all the little tricks yet TAKE CARE

  9. #9 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    Here’s a little illustration with bypass diodes. If you have a few shadowed cells in a series group, the resistance will shoot up and lower the power across the entire array. The bypass diodes give an alternate path of lower resistance, so if you throw one in parallel every group of 3-5 the shadows won’t make you lose so much power.

  10. #10 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    I guess it wont let me post links. Google “solar cell bypass diode” there’s a some simple illustrations.

  11. #11 by michael970 at January 19th, 2010

    beler11 all my panels are wired in parallel so I should not need bypass diodes correct .thank you for your advice its always good when other people help out.TAKE CARE

  12. #12 by michael970 at January 19th, 2010


  13. #13 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    I think the same principle is still going to apply with your setup. It looks like you have groups of 3 wired in parallel, but then you still have those groups of 3 wired in series 25 times so that series group can still run into the same problem. The diodes would have to run parallel to groups of 3/6/9

  14. #14 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    You can try testing out the array with a cover over a portion of it to see how much of an effect it will have. A current measurement would be the way to tell. The solar cells reach their max voltage pretty easily, while current of the array is what drops.

    The effect was quite drastic with the solar cells on our robot. We were charging capacitors. The rate of a capacitor charging depends on the current, while the max capacity depends on voltage.

  15. #15 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    We had a group of 15 in series on top facing the light and another group of 15 on a side panel not facing the light. The capacitor network would actually charge faster with just the top panel hooked up than with both the top and side panel hooked up. This is because the panel out of the light would have an elevated resistance and kill the current across the entire connection.

  16. #16 by beler11 at January 19th, 2010

    This may not matter much if you have the array on a roof or somewhere where its always going to have even light across all of the panels, but the trees blowing in the wind and casting shadows when the sun drops could.

  17. #17 by michael970 at January 19th, 2010

    thank you very much for all the advice Iwill put it to good use

  18. #18 by water2wine638 at January 24th, 2010

    how much output does your windmill give you?

  19. #19 by crashguy711 at February 19th, 2010

    I am really glad im not the only one confused about volts amps watts current resistance and the like! I am really glad to be joining this community of minds and hope someday I can contribute in someway? thanks guys!!

  20. #20 by michael970 at February 19th, 2010

    HEY crashguy there is a lot to learn about on here. I just got started 1 year ago and I learn new stuff every day.I am sure you have some things to teach others about already.

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