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Thread: broken cells, tabbing wire, trial project

  1. #1
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    Default broken cells, tabbing wire, trial project

    Howdy,

    For the last month I have been watching you tube vids, hitting ebay, reading this forum, bargain shopping for tools, and tearing up my local library in preparation for my first project. Forgive me for any technical misnomers or faux pas.

    I purchased misc broken panels on eBay so I wasn't throwing too big of a fit when I make mistakes on my first try at solar DIY. I still haven't gotten my tabbing and bus wire in the mail yet, but I am jonesing to try my hand.

    A few questions if anyone cares to help.

    Is there anything that I can substitute for tabbing wire? What is the composition of tabbing wire?

    On the broken pieces there is not more than a single anode/cathode. I look at projects with slightly chipped or pristine cells and they all have two per side.
    Other than the obvious of only attaching at that single site, what are the unforeseen consequences of a single point of contact? Also is there any way to make a connection without the obvious contact point I am seeing in all DIY videos.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rory

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcmartin012 View Post
    Howdy,

    For the last month I have been watching you tube vids, hitting ebay, reading this forum, bargain shopping for tools, and tearing up my local library in preparation for my first project. Forgive me for any technical misnomers or faux pas.

    I purchased misc broken panels on eBay so I wasn't throwing too big of a fit when I make mistakes on my first try at solar DIY. I still haven't gotten my tabbing and bus wire in the mail yet, but I am jonesing to try my hand.

    A few questions if anyone cares to help.

    Is there anything that I can substitute for tabbing wire?
    What is the composition of tabbing wire?

    On the broken pieces there is not more than a single anode/cathode. I look at projects with slightly chipped or pristine cells and they all have two per side.
    Other than the obvious of only attaching at that single site, what are the unforeseen consequences of a single point of contact? Also is there any way to make a connection without the obvious contact point I am seeing in all DIY videos.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rory
    > Is there anything that I can substitute for tabbing wire?
    > What is the composition of tabbing wire?
    It's something very soft and bendy, so it bends before the cell cracks. It helps soak up
    the thermal differences, and it bends, instead of the cell.

    There HAS to be a piece of metal trace deposited somewhere on the cell, or else you
    can't make contact. There is a thin, invisible film on the front, but there is a grid pattern
    over that, where you are supposed to make contact. If the pieces you bought, don't
    have any metal grid remnants at all, you might be able to use conductive silver epoxy, or
    car window defroster grid repair. But that stuff will cost you way more than the cells did.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV || || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks Mike,
    Suspicions confirmed.
    If I am just trying to get the hang of soldering I can use almost any limber copper wire. I don’t really want to use them; I just don’t want to destroy good cells when I am ready to try to make something nice.
    Also there are a series of parallel running wires (I think, lol) obviously running through the cells. If I can make contact with any of those on both negative side and anywhere else on the positive side I should be able to start a series?

  4. #4
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    The seller should have given you a sketch of how to connect them. You need cells about the same size, connect in series, back to front, back to front. Each cell, produces about
    0.5V, and the current (amps) depends on the size of the cell. Little chips = 5mA. big pieces with several power traces, .7A or more.
    Since the dawn of time it has been mankind's dream to blot out the sun.
    Montgomery Burns

    "Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."

    spreadsheet based voltage drop calculator:
    http://www.solar-guppy.com/download/...calculator.zip
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...oss-calculator

    http://www.mike-burgess.org/PVinfo_2.html

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,
    battery lugs http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    Setting up batteries http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    gear :
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV || || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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