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Posted by Winston on February 17, 2012, 12:40 am
j wrote:


Wow!  Lots of detail in that report.  Thanks!

If I were to make that sort of collector, I'd consider a sheet
of aluminum Coilzak lighting sheet.  It has the specular surface
already and would form a parabola easily.

amount of dead clear days is too few here,


So far, the reflector has not moved much heat.  The experiment was a success,
but the technique falls far short of adequate performance.  :)

I suspect that these Heat Grabbers would work much better:


Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 16, 2012, 10:29 pm

Whatever is appropriate. I can be VERY high-tech if someone else pays for


I've had an acrylic mirror outdoors exposed to rain (but not sun) for about
ten years, and it's still in good condition. It was a truck mirror repair
kit from WalMart.


Posted by Winston on February 17, 2012, 12:47 am
 Jim Wilkins wrote:


That makes sense.

The mirror - coated acrylic appears to be much flatter than the
uncoated stuff.  The reflection from the uncoated acrylic pieces
are highly distorted.  I don't suspect this matters much though.

Upthread, I conceded that a separate solar absorber box would
probably work very much better than my reflector idea did.


Posted by Vaughn on February 16, 2012, 8:48 pm
 On 2/16/2012 10:06 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

I remember when square bathtub-type solar hot water heaters were common
on roofs of older homes in the south Florida area.  They were little
more than a black tar-coated tank of water on the roof. I assume they
were unpressurized. They likely had a toilet-style ballcock to keep them
full, and served the house through gravity feed.

There was no separate solar collector, the tank itself serves as the
"collector".  Inefficient, but cheap and reliable.

As for the naked PV cells that the OP asked about, In a world where a
careful buyer can purchase panels for 1 dollar/watt, I would need to buy
them at far less than 50 cents/watt to bother with them.  The best
homebuilt panel is probably inferior to the crappiest factory built unit.


Posted by Curbie on February 16, 2012, 4:55 pm
 This on-line book goes into the fine detail of building PV panels:
"Build Your Own Solar Panel" $2.95
by Phillip J. Hurley
Table of contents:

Although, I like the encapsulated method of moisture sealing PV panels
better as shown here:


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