This an updated video about a series of DIY solar panels made 3 years ago. It consists of a material list, still images and a few short videos. It’s more of a rough guide.
In total, I have completed four DIY solar panels for an off grid system. The main reason was I couldn’t afford a new solar panels and I wanted to see if I could do it. Three years ago, the cost of solar panels in Canada was around $580 for a 120 watt brand name solar panel. Since I had to purchase a charger controller, four deep cycle batteries, wires, fuses and an inverter, it wasn’t in the scope. Most of the work was completed after hours or late at night, out in the cold workshop. The overall plan was to purchase the solar cells off ebay, join them into strings, stick to the back side of a single pane window, cover and erect on a rooftop mount.
Just got back from a fantastic family vacation in Kihei, Maui. As soon as we left the airport in our rental car, we noticed many the homes had plenty of solar panels on the roofs. Like at least 15 panels. Must be grid-tie systems. Even the churches were getting in on it. One fairly big church had over 60 PV panels. Did a quick search and noticed that there was a 4 year return on savings and an up to 35% rebate. Compared to a past visit to the island of Kauai, two years ago, the Maui citizens are jumping on board. Since I was looking at the roofs more closely, I did see a the newer pipe style of solar hot water heater.
I also saw my first wind turbine farm. Owned by Kaheawa Wind Farm and it was on the road to Lahaina right across the bay to Kihei. 14 Wind turbines ran right up the ridge of the mountain. It was cool to see how the clouds were passing through the the turbine blades. It was like in “real time”. Just had my iPhone, so, the video came out fuzzy.
After finishing the four DIY solar panels, I wanted a quick mount for the the top of the cabin roof.
The idea location was to mount it to the water barrels on the roof. The plan was to aim the panels to the south (and through a gap in the trees). As usual, my choice of material was Western Red Cedar and square head screws.