2 August 2010

Solar Power Photovoltaic DIY Project

I am proud to say my very first solar power project is a success.  A few domestic items in my home such as my bedside lamp and my electric fan are now running from a battery that is charged from solar power collected during the day.

The bulk of the work was building the actual unit to sit in the garden and this is wear I saved the money.  It has to be weather proof and transparent.  The unit is essentially a glass-roofed wooden box, varnished and mounted at a 45 degree angle to the sky, facing south.  Contructed from scrap material the photovoltaic plates (purchased earlier this year at Sunrise Celebration) are glued to the underside of the glass and wired in parallel.  I make it sound easy here but trust me, I made a fair few mistakes.

Now I know I can do this, my next step will be to scale-up the project.  The unit pictured above generates just over 12 watts of power in full sunshine but as you can see I could easily have used a bigger piece of glass and fitted more plates into the space.  This was afterall, just an exercise in self teaching.

The total cost of the project was about £40.