100W Solar panel || DIY or Buy

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In this episode of DIY or Buy I will show you how I created a 100W solar panel by myself. Along the way you will learn how to wire up solar cells and how they are usually wired up in a commercial solar panel. At the end we will then evaluate whether the DIY version is cheaper to produce.

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42 thoughts on “100W Solar panel || DIY or Buy

  1. Hi GreatScott. Your Youtube channel is the perhaps my most favorite channel on Youtube!
    I always look forward to your new videos… and this is my first ever comment…

    I am wondering if you would ever make a Timer Plug (can be very useful for numerous applications, I have added some existing product links below) – there are many timer plugs available for as little as 11-12 USD but most of them are not very reliable and stops working after few months… so if one makes it using Arduino it might be more reliable and can be fixed by by replacing the faulty component (as the circuit is known to the user) – would like to know your thoughts.

    I know you might be busy but it would be great if you could tell if you are interested to take it up for DIY or BUY. If you don't find it interesting that's also fine… but please let me know 🙂

    here are some timers I am talking about:

  2. I just buy panels too. Put them on my camper roof for 600w of continuous power during the day, while still charging all the batteries for nighttime use. Camping is really awesome with it.

  3. With solar panels, its much better to buy a well made panel that was put together using automation. Its just too easy to make a mistake going the DIY way.

  4. By far the largest improvement you can make, which has worked very well for me.

    Obtain old double glazing units, people have them in skips all the time or online when conservatories are being replaced. This provides tough, cut to size glass with aluminium surrounds that can be cut off using a Stanley knife and replaced with sealant. This will result in a cheaper and far more durable system.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Very interesting outcome. I've subscribed and thus will check out your other vids. Have you done a vid on a home solar set-up? Good job – Great Vid.

  6. it can be cheaper to build your own panels, if you can source cheap materials. I built ten 150W panels in 2004-05 and they still perform well today. i had bought 8 panels previously but they cost way more $ and five of them totally failed within 2-3 yrs. My solar cells were each smaller than the ones you used, and came in huge boxes bought from fleabay for around $25 USD each box. I had the aluminum and glass on-hand so that saved me big $. They paid for themselves in just 4 yrs, compared to the store bought panels that never paid off due to failures and no refund on their demise. Definitely takes patients soldering all those tabs, and assembling them. lol
    Also if you had the back of the panels more open so air can flow it might lower the heat and stop the plexi from warping.

  7. I once tried to create my own from cheap cells. For one, no matter how well they seemed to be packed for shipping there's always a bunch that arrive cracked. Some to the point of being non-usable. Soldering them all is a total PITA and very hard to keep aligned in neat rows. Also, very hard to make a nice looking frame or one that will hold up. Agree that it is better to buy than make your own.

  8. Jesus christ dude. In all your videos your soldering is horrible. You are a really really smart guy but please learn to solder. I seen peoples first times at even soldering do better. It's so irritating seeing such a smart guy do this.

  9. How long would one of these last you think? Have glass and get scrap metal for free or nothing. No resin maybe. Could just get a big picture frame and take out the pic

  10. So for the $50 USD you pay for the panels that are most likely bottom of the barrel garbage from China you get a 50w panel that will last a week.

    I've experimented with this myself and can tell you you're not going to DIY a cheaper panel than most commercially available. The only thing this idea is good for is education.

    Great video. Though not at all feasible.

  11. Great analysis. But also this would be very expensive for a layman, you have to consider the cost of the tools such as soldering iron, the SAW!, and various other tools that some people might not have. It will be a very expensive solar panel in the end unless you plan to open own solar panel business 😀

  12. I have DIY'd this too. I did not use resin, and I instead lay the cells out on painted plywood, and sealed the outside edge of the plexiglass over the top with strong adhesive, and topped it off with a C-frame. Takes 8 hours to solder indeed, it's actually meditative. My tips:

    – Use a thick frame like Great Scott did, thinner ones are not sturdy enough and the space behind the panel is handy for concealing wires, drilling holes and mounting.
    – If you're not using resin, make sure to keep any live wires away from the frame.
    – It's much much easier if you don't have to cut the plexiglass to size, it can be brittle and difficult to work with.
    – Sealing the cells from the elements is crucial and probably worth spending good money on resin to achieve it.

    It might be a good idea to use a backboard and a C frame, then fill the inside of the frame with epoxy as a seal. That way you use far less resin and mirror adhesive. Haven't tested this idea though, just a thought.

  13. Epoxy glue lifespan is about 3-5 year. and the power lose will be very very fast. normally the solar panels manufactures use Glass+EVA Film+solar cells+Eva film+ TPT Film, then laminate under 150℃ for about 15mins, now more and more people like the double glass solar panels, use glass to instead of TPT Film, the lifespan will be over 30 years, and power lose will be less than 20% after 25 years.

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