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Neverland – Solar Panels

Introduction

Once built the wind turbine to provide power during the windy days, it is time to make a system to meet power when the wind does not blow. The solar panel seems like an obvious choice to supplement the wind turbine. This is the reason because I have chosen to integrate the power from the wind with two solar panels into the roof of the Neverland structure.

I have started out the way I start every project, by looking for information on internet about diy solar panels. As mentioned before for the wind turbine, nowadays, there are a lot of guides and videos on internet about how to build a home-made solar panels. The windmills can be of different types, like vertical axis windmill or horizontal axis windmill, but the solar panels are in general the same, with a box for the array of solar cells and a glass above to protect them.

I have never tried to built a “diy” solar panel, but I think it could be possible even using common tools and inexpensive materials. Also the solar cells can be found as second hand or recycled material. The main problem is that the old cells have to be checked and this operation is for expert people, then I suggest to buy new solar cells indeed they are inexpensive and easy to find, furthermore they should be the only things to buy because the others materials, useful for the system, are easily to find as recycled materials.

The following picture (Figure 1) shows the solar panel how should be at the end of the work.

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How they are made

First of all, we should consider the dimensions of the roof structure in order to install the two solar panels. There are two surface in the roof: the first one has the dimensions of 1×1 m, while the dimensions of the second one are 0,85×1 m. Since we have these surface I have thought that could be interesting build the panels to cover the whole roof with solar cells and then have as much as possible sun power relative to the area available. The following (Figure 2) picture is a drawing of the roof to understand how should appear at the end of the work.

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The quantity of the solar cells to buy depends on the surface where we have to dispose them. After a little research on internet I have chosen to use a 6×6 inches (circa 16×16 cm) mono-crystalline solar cells. The total area of the roof is 1,85 meters square, so dividing by the surface of each cell (0,0256 meters square), we have the total number of the solar cells we need: 70 cells. Each cell produces about 0,5 Volt, so 70 cells in series would give about 35 Volts which would be good for charging two 12 Volt batteries. In the following picture (Figure 3) is shown an example of solar cell. Take note that they are very thin and fragile as glass, therefore they are easily damaged.

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There are a lots of sizes of solar cells; you could choose larger or smaller cells for your panel, but the only important thing is that they have to be all the same size. Cells of the same size produce the same voltage no matter what type they are, while if you use different dimension of cells, the current will be limited by the smallest cell in the group and the larger cells will not work to their full potential.

The solar panels box are two shallow boxes. They could be made with a recycled wooden materials, I think it is very easy to find, probably you have them somewhere in your home. The dimensions of the two boxes, as mentioned before, are: 1×1 m and 1×0,85 m. In the following picture (Figure 4) are represented a simple scheme of the two panels. To protect the solar cells from the weather, the panel will have a plexiglass front, also glass could be used for this, but it is too fragile so I would avoid. Even the wooden parts of the panel should be protected from the action of the weather, so it is useful use a waterproof paint to protect them from water and moisture.

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Once the wooden bases are complete it is time to make the solar cells ready. The first step is to solder and merge the cells. I read something about this operation and the best way to merge the cells is using a low-wattage soldering iron and fine rosen – core solder. Remember the cells are thin and delicate, if you push too hard, you will break the cells. The cells have to be soldered in series: the negative tabs from the top of one cell are soldered to the positive part on the bottom of the next. This connects the cells in series, and adds their voltages. The operation has to be done until you have a string of 6 cells then the whole process has to be repeated twelve times to get 12 strings of 6 cells for the two panels. Even the strings of cells need to be wired in series, so the strings must be staggered. In other words the second, fourth, sixth etc. strings must be rotated 180 degrees respect to the first, third etc. strings. To interconnect the strings of cells could be used copper braid, solar cell tabbing material or even regular wire. The operations mentioned before are shown in the next picture (Figure 5;Figure 6).

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It is time to attach the cells in their box. In this step a tool is very useful: the silicone. There are many methods to merge the cells in the shallow box, but I think that the best is to place a small blob of silicone caulk in the centre of each cell. It is recommended do not use too much glue and do not glue the cells everywhere but only in the centres. The cells and the panel, once mounted, will expand, contract, flex and wrap with change in the temperature in the humidity. If you glue the cells too tightly to the substrate, they will crack in time while gluing them at only one point in the centre allows the cells to float freely on top of the substrate.

Each solar panel in a solar power system needs a blocking diode in series to prevent the panel from discharging your batteries at night or during cloudy weather. Once the strings of cells, the diode and all the connection are ready it is recommend to test the voltages and ampere of the system by ammeter as shown in the next picture (Figure 7).

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If the system it is well connected and the test has a good results you can proceed with closing the solar panels with the plexiglass. The best way to attach the glass on the shalow box is to screw it and create an isolation around the frame with silicone to make a waterproof system. After some hours to dry the silicone the solar panels are ready to be mounted in the roof of Neverland structure. Finally should be add a polarized two-pin jones plug to the end of the panels wires. Mating female plug will be wired into the charge controller of the windmill system, so the solar panel can supplement its power production and battery charging capacity.

As in the past step I will write a table with a list of the things you need to build the solar panels (Table 1).

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Neverland

Neverland

“Most of our industries generate massive amounts of waste. For every tone of municipal solid waste, there are 71 tonnes produces from mining, manufacturing, and product distribution. We have nuclear waste, soil laced with heavy metals, chromium-contaminated groundwater, landfills bursting with cast-off plastic containers. The residues of our consumption are buried in highly centralised areas and are burned when the volume accumulates”.

The problem of waste disposal is becoming one of the main problems on the environmental: landfills, incinerator and indiscriminate abandonment of waste are real social and environmental emergency. A really serious problem that cannot remain indifferent.

Since this moment I have never heard about the concept “Blue Economy”. A week ago I started an intership in the “Blue Economy Solutions” in Berlin, then I read some articles about innovations and, as citied before, the Blue Economy’s book. I am very surprised, the ideologies behind the acting are simple: try to produce less waste and pollution as much as possible, trough the inspiration of Nature with own hands.

I have a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering, furthermore my background taught me how it is important that everybody collaborate to change the world, then I found this kind of approach very clever. Now I would like to share my idea in order to have advices from somebodies more specialized then me.

As mentioned in the title my idea is a station with a vertical axis windmill and two solar panel on top. There is not nothing new about the idea, but I believe the most important aspect is: we can do the station in mode “do it yourself”, with recycled materials or, in the worst case, with second-hand items. The structure could be made with pallets, the windmill with a used tanks and the energy solar system with “diy” solar panel. Could be interesting because everybody can make a station like this and have a “free” energy which can be used to charge electric cars, a lawn-mower or simply a computer when you want use it in garden. I enclose a simple image of my idea.

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In conclusion, this is a prototype and of course it needs a modification to work well. So I am very happy if somebody is interested in to develop the project. I am working in it, thus I will update you with new ideas and modification.

Solarus Hybrid Solar Collector presented by Stefan Larsson

A PVT hybrid solar panel for Solarus, innovation and design by mr Stefan Larsson at Finsun Inresol AB in Sweden.

Solarus says:

Solarus provides next generation solar energy technology to professional users.

Our ingenious solar panel solution enables our worldwide customers to harvest heat and power from the sun. Solarus endeavors to focus on material efficiency,low cost and high performance.

Our vision is to make solar energy a major energy source globally and to counter the climate threat through innovation.

Video made by: mr Fredrik Stenson

——
http://www.solarus.se
http://www.inresol.se
http://www.stenson.tv

Self-Made Microsolar Cells - Cheaper, Faster, More Efficient

Self-Made Microsolar Cells – Cheaper, Faster, More Efficient

Micro solar cells fit into any pocket and are able to power small devices such as cellphones or MP3 players. Unfortunately they are often slow, inaccurate and produced manually at high costs in remote countries.

The “Solar Pocket Factory” introduced by the inventors Shawn Frayne (known from Case 12 and 79) and his colleague Alex Hornstein are able to produce more efficient and lasting micro solar cells in less time. They are so much cheaper that they can be also implemented in poorer countries. The production unit is small and simple and therefore it can be set up everywhere in the world, which makes expensive importation innecessary.

A prototype has been produced. Now the inventors are planning the financing of their device by crowd funding. As a return service they offer experimental kits and publish weekly insights of their work which will be collected in a book. They also offer some of their technologies on the internet open source.

Get more information here.

B-Squares: Modular Solar-Powered Electrics

NOW AVAILABLE!!:  http://www.b-squares.com

B-Squares: Modular Solar-Powered Electrics

B-Squares was just a few sketches emailed between Jordan and Shawn in January 2011. Now, a few months and dozens of prototypes later, we’re ready to make this into a product. Help complete the evolution of this project from seed to reality by SHARING this video with your friends.

Learn more and check out our launch campaign on: http://www.b-squares.com

An energy turnaround without subsidies is possible by 2020

An energy turnaround without subsidies is possible by 2020

The phasing out of nuclear energy by 2020 is only feasible and financeable by using renewable energy. 

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ZERI: an energy turnaround without the aid of subsidies is possible by 2020.

(Berlin, 13th May2011). The phasing out of nuclear energy by 2020 is only feasible and financeable by the use of renewable energy. So is shown in an innovative scenario from the Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI). Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker supports the model: “Through the intelligent combination of existing technologies the energy turnaround can succeed by social consensus, and with financial gains”.

“The expansion of renewables will be economically successful, when we use existing technologies and material cycles in the established infrastructure” explains Gunter Pauli, founder and chairman of the ZERI Foundation, at the presenatation of this energy scenario in Berlin. The massive expansion of a decentralised, regenerated energy supply will therefore be possible and viable, without triggering social opposition. “I am thrilled with the method” says Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, former President of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. “The intelligent combination of simple energy sources creates synergies and efficiencies”.

With the use of these synergies, electricity can be produced  from renewable energy sources at costs so low, that the funding of the expansion will be unnecessary. The use of innovative technologies for wind, solar and bioenergy is more than a faster and more lucrative way out of nuclear energy: “the phasing out of nuclear energy results in great opportunities to create jobs in Germany and to achieve a worldwide leadership in technology” explains Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann, director of ZERI Germany (ltd?)

Gunter Pauli´s scenario is based on three, already proved, technologies:

1.    Windpower without plant construction: vertical wind turbines that are installed in existing pylons make the construction of additional wind farms unnecessary. If one third of the 150,000 pylons in Germany were equipped with vertical turbines, up to 5 gigawatts could be provided. The cost amounts to about 5 billion euro.

2.    Biogas efficiently and as storage: Biogas generators enables the efficient extraction of biogas through a combination of agricultural waste and sewage sludge. If 500 of Germany´s 9,600 sewage treatment plants equipped with this, 5 gigawatts of electricity could be provided to the basic energy supply, with total investment costs of roughly 10 billion euro.

3.    Solar Energy without Subsidies: The third technology is a combined electricity and heat production through double-sided Photovoltaic panels. With a lifespan of over 20 years the costs per kilowatt hour are below one cent. The investment for a targeted capacity of 5.4 gigawatts is around 10 billion euro.

Through the combination of these three technologies it will be possible to produce energy at a cost considerably lower than by nuclear energy at present. With a price difference of 3.6 cent per kilowatt hour there exists-from replacing 15 gigawatts from nuclear energy-a saving of 4.7 billion euro per annum. Calculated on a running time of eight years, investments amount to around 25 billion euro in savings, compared to the amount of 38 billion euro. Through these savings, the capital requirements for the necessary investments should be covered, and in this way finance Germany´s phasing-out of nuclear power.

Blue Economy: Economic Paradigm for a Sustainable Future

Bhutan News

This special report will provide you an insight into this exciting six-day event, and inform you about the most recent developments in Bhutan.
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The participants were especially impressed by the children of the country, who show a particular conscience for environmentally oriented living already at an elementary school age. The education of Bhutan’s youth is focused on a way of life in harmony with nature. This enlightened our participants about the importance of engaging the coming generation in sustainable development and maintaining a healthy balance between human beings and nature for the sake of our future.During the following days, the experts of the Blue Economy guided by Prof. Dr. Gunter Pauli, presented their innovations and business models using locally available resources, which can support Bhutan in its development of a sustainable and succesful economy. Among these were concepts for international marketing of organically farmed buckwheat for food production in industrial nations like Japan and Germany. Some promising products from buckwheat are the manufacturing of alcohol-free organic beer and soba (Japanese noodles).

The portfolio of technologies that may be implemented to achieve national energy independence was of a special interest. At present the country relies on fuel imported from neighboring countries like India, and is in need of decentralized solutions for the many remote Himalayan communities. A combination of technologies like solar panels by the Swedish company Solarus AB (see Case 53) as well as the production of methane gas from sewage slurry and organic waste within biogas plants will surely form part of the strategy in reaching this milestone.

Link to Case 53:
http://www.blueeconomy.eu/wordpress/blog/53-solar-without-subsidies/

The innovations and business models presented were discussed with the participants and the Bhutanese government, focusing on their potential for Bhutan and their economic viability. After the Bhutan Meeting, the best and most promising concepts will be implemented within a series of projects. Almost all meeting  participants have announced their willingness to assist through providing financial and technological support for these projects.

In cooperation with the Blue Economy, Bhutan is developing an initiative which is unique in the world and will surely be an outstanding example and a new benchmark for sustainable ecological and economical activity. We are looking forward to informing you regularly about the exciting developments and details of each of the projects within our Blue Economy Community website as well as our newsletter.

Some impressions from the Land of the Thunder Dragon and the Bhutan Meeting are available within our Facebook profile.
Link to http://www.community.blueeconomy.de/m/photos/browse/album/Bhutan-Meeting-GNH-Fund-June-21-2011

If you have a special interest in our projects in Bhutan or wish to support a particular project, please do not hesitate to mail us via:
bhutan@blueeconomy.de