So in this part I am going to talk about what hardware I needed to make my own custom solar panel for the Valify Lawnmower. A solar panel contains several parts in order to function properly and have a long life time. Some of this materials need to be chosen with care. Most parts need to be UV-restiance for a better efficiency and a better chance to obtain the ability to produce as much as possible for as long as possible. Reading around on diffrents forums and sites online have gather me with some basic theoretical Know-how. I now know the basic components needed to move this forward and get the practical know-how.
“A solar panel is a collection of solar cells interconnected to achieve higher voltage or current. The most common configuration for such interconnections is in a framework, thus forming a panel.”
So solar panel contains 5 layers of diffrent components (Frame is not included) here I will descripe them in short starting from the bottom and going up.
Backsheet: A solar backsheet is the last layer at the bottom of the solar PV panel and is typically made of a polymer or a combination of polymers. The backsheet plays a significant role in a solar panel. A poor quality backsheet can cause system degradation, unwanted maintenance, and replacements related to additional costs.
A quality backsheet must protect against:
- Ultra-violet radiation, which is harsh on most polymer materials
- Humidity and vapor penetration
- Dryness, wind, dust, sand, and chemicals
2. Encapsulant: EVA is the abbreviation for ethylene vinyl acetate. EVA films are a key material used for traditional solar panels.
n the solar industry, the most common encapsulation is with cross-linkable ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). With the help of a lamination machine, the cells are laminated between films of EVA in a vacuum, which is under compression.
This procedure is conducted under temperatures of up to 150°C. One of the disadvantages of EVA films is that it is not UV-resistant and therefore protective front glass is required for the UV screening.
3. Solar cell: is an electrical device that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect, which is a physical and chemical phenomenon. It is a form of photoelectric cell, defined as a device whose electrical characteristics, such as current, voltage, or resistance, vary when exposed to light. Individual solar cell devices can be combined to form modules, otherwise known as solar panels
5. Glass: The type of glass used in a solar panel does make a huge difference to efficiency, strength and safety over the long term
BOM (build of materials)
- Polycrystalline Silicon mini Solar Cell (I ordered 300pcs with dimensions 39x19mm)
- 1.8×0.16mm Tab Wire
- 2m 5×0.2mm Bus Wire
- Flux Pen
- Back sheet (VIKOCELL TPE) 560mm x 5m
- EVA film 2m X 1m X .5mm
- Main Cover (Glass/Plexi) (Not decided yet.)
So Tonight I will order the rest of materials except the glass. The things are mostly bought from USA or China. So it will take some time before I could get started with actual build of the panel. But when everything is in place the build will proceed.
Note: I will also buy a new soldering iron because I think its going to be quite a lot of soldering. The new soldering iron I am going to buy is a Dibotech soldering iron Pro 60 W
The part 3 of this series will start the actual build. So keep an eye for that. 😉