Renewable Energy Log
Copyright © 2006-2007
18w Solar Panel
I just got my new 18w solar panel from eBay. It looks really nice, metal frame and everything. I set it up and away it went... but for 5 minutes. Then the current cut out completely. I couldn't beleive it. The panel was broken. I spent 2 hours trying to find what was wrong with it. I narrowed the problem down to the connection block that connects the panels to the wires it comes with. I ripped it apart and there it was. A wire loose. The positive wire wasnt soldered to the metal strip correctly. Out came the soldering iron and it was fixed within a few minutes.
Unfortunately I also had to use a smaller piece of wire to connect to the metal strip. This is because there was so little of the metal strip to solder to, only a small wire would be small enough to connect to it. Now I have a fragile soldered connection and an open connection box. The solution? A yoghurt pot, some cardboard and lots of sticky tape! I made a sort of "box" around the fragile connection to avoid it being knocked and it snapping off. No picture of that unfortunately.
I hope it stays working from now on since if that connection breaks its probably going to be a useless panel. Fingers crossed it never has to be touched.
So whats the current like?