Using Acrylic for Your Do-It-Yourself Solar Panel
Transitioning part of the energy of your home to solar energy is more achievable than ever before thanks to the convenience and cost effectiveness of making your own solar panels. In bookstores and online, you can find the plans do it yourself solar panels that can help you make anything from a few outdoor lights to power your entire home. Several plans suggest that it is possible to build a do it yourself Panel for less than a third of the price of purchasing one in a store
The solar panel construction process requires a lot of important decisions :. How much power do you want out of your system? Where do you have your system to get maximum exposure to the sun? Another important decision is
essential purpose The cover has a high percentage of light allow the energy-generating solar cells below while protecting them reach out to select the right enclosure material solar panel to do it yourself. violent weather and harmful ultraviolet rays. Glass and acrylic materials are the two most frequently for this purpose because both transmit the necessary over and above the threshold value for more than 90% of the light. Despite their similarity in this respect, acrylic, also known as Plexiglas, has a number of advantages over glass for do-it-yourselfer
Plexiglas Solar Covers: .. A smart alternative to glass
- The main advantage of using plexiglass to protect your panels is its strength. Plexiglas has an impact strength which is about eighteen times that of ordinary glass and it is therefore much less likely to break due to bad weather or an errant baseball.
- In addition to being stronger, plexiglass solar panel covers are approximately 50% lighter than an equivalent-sized glass plate. This is an important factor to consider if you do it yourself panels are to be placed somewhere that is prone to being overweight or if you are lugging your completed panels to your roof for installation.
- If your project requires design to be cut to cover your custom size, using plexiglass for solar panels is likely to be a much cheaper option. While glass is less expensive when ordered in bulk, plexiglass puts less strain on your budget when purchased in small, customized quantities. Also make sure to see if your local distributor of plastics has all the size you need in stock. This saves you a lot of dollars in labor costs.
- Finally, due to their light weight and resistance to shattering, plexiglass solar panel covers are cheaper to ship and handle.
- When working with plexiglass, there are a few considerations that need to plan ahead for best results.
- Over long periods of time can plexiglas sag under its own weight by the lack of stiffness in comparison with glass. It is this same flexibility that earns plexiglass solar panel covers high marks for impact resistance. Avoid this problem by incorporating multiple points of support to cover the plexiglass solar panel.
- Plexiglas also tends to expand and contract with temperature extremes shifts from season to season. Plexiglas shifts a speed of.00004 “per inch per degree of change of the Fahrenheit. Thus, an increase of 100 degrees of the coldest day of the winter to the hottest day in summer to the length of a sheet of acrylic with changing original length of 36 ‘by.114 “[0,00004” x36 “x100 °]. The effects of expansion and contraction can be offset by enough” play “in the frame to compensate for the change of the seasons.
It is important to note that if you are in an area with frequent hailstorms or one that experiences extremely low temperatures, it might be wise to consider UV-stabilized polycarbonate as an alternative to solar panel covers Plexiglas life. This is polycarbonate by superior strength, and the ability to resist cracking. UV stabilized polycarbonate, however, is considerably more expensive than plexiglas and is yellow in the time in the sun (slightly plexiglass does not). To get the most do-it-yourself solar panels, a 3/16 inch sheet of acrylic will get the job.
Contact a local distributor of plastics today to find out how easy and cost effective it can be to integrate into your acrylic panels do it yourself solar energy project!
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Using-Acrylic-for-Your-Do-It-Yourself-Solar-Panel&id=6468002 by Adam Thal