Renewable Energy Log

April 2007
27th - 12v Items

March 2007
24th - New Monitor Box

January 2007
30th - 90Ah SLA Battery
26th - New Charge Controller
10th - 18w Panel Smash

December 2006
23rd - RE Radio Shack
4th - RE Laptop
2nd - 10mm LED Torch

November 2006
21st - Panel Stand

October 2006
16th - More Portable Ideas
10th - More Portable Ideas
8th - Portable Ideas
2nd - 60w Array

September 2006
20th - 18W eBay Panel
20th - Solar Monitor Box
17th - CCFL Lights
17th - 17Ah Battery Datasheet
5th - SLA Batteries

August 2006
6th - 6W Folding Panel

Copyright © 2006-2007
Andrew Whyman

18w Solar Panel

eBay Seller: esolar2004:-
This is a brilliant eBayer. One panel I received was broken on arrival (bad connection) which was promptly replaced. I repaired the broken panel but it smashed in Jan 07 after strong winds. I would recommend this seller.

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?
Excellent! In overcast conditions my entire array (24w) puts out about 0.5A. Ive seen 1.5A top so far but my analog meter only goes up to 1A so I had to disconnect my digital meter and use that instead.