A plan for low-cost solar cell encapsulation
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README.md

README.md

A plan for low-cost solar cell encapsulation

This github repository contains all the plans and resources needed to create your own solar panels.

Instructables Guides

See here for this project's instructables guide

See here for making a converter so the panels can charge USB devices

What is it

This project is an open source, low cost, solar cell encapsulation plan and bill of materials to enable members of the open hardware community to build solar panels and integrate them into projects.

Why

The original motive for the project stems from the fact that existing 5W solar cell phone chargers cost $50-100 and that the solar cells themselves can be had for around $1/W. This begs the question of whether a cheaper encapsulation method exists, while retaining the robustness of more expensive alternatives.

Features of this design

  • No soldering required (uses foil tape with conductive adhesive instead of pre-tinned bus bar)
  • Very portable (3.5"x2.5"x1") when folded.
  • The only tooling required is an office laminator and some cutting equipment
  • Modular-ish design means more cells can be added if projects call for more than 5V. This causes a small increase in thickness.

Getting started

Please refer to the wiki for instructions

Jumping right in

Credits

Many thanks to solar pocket factory's instructable on making solar cells with a laminator.