Thursday, February 11, 2010

Solar Panels picked up!

I got the call from my friend, Swee, yesterday that the solar panels were in.

We did a bulk order of three pallets between 4 or 5 people. His store doesn't have much of a loading zone - only the street parking directly in front of the store.

I wanted to get there as soon as I could, knowing the the panels were most likely just leaned up somewhere, taking up space.

Being used to "consumer packaging", I almost expected every panel to be completely covered in inches of styrofoam and cardboard boxes. Nope! These were pallet-shipped - nothing but solar panels stacked on top of each other with some heavy-duty plastic wrap to pin them all in place.

We loaded up my share of the panels into the back of my truck. They fit well between the wheel humps in the back of my Chevy S-10 compact pickup truck.

Today, I tested one of the panels, and then stacked them all in my garage.

In cool, sunny weather, this panel was sending out about 95 volts DC open-circuit! I'm not used to working with HIGH-VOLTAGE panels. Most of my experience with PV has been on 15 watt or smaller 12V units.

Next up? Figure out how to make all that high-voltage into something useful to charge an electric car, cordless tool batteries, and run a few lights.


  1. If you think that is shocking, could you picture an all electric Rolls-Royce? I wouldn't want to be the person paying the bills for that thing :P.

  2. What was the price for solar panles ?

  3. Hi Don,
    The panels cost $90 each. They are 60 watt panels. Basically they are 68V at just a tiny bit under 1 amp.

    The are more designed for grid-tie than for battery systems, but will work with 48V batteries and many 48V charge controllers