Solar panels



Many projects require power in some form. Photovoltaic panels provide a rugged, durable, mass produced, and inexpensive platform for the system's energy production needs.


Similar to battery packs, balancing solar cells helps to ensure maximum power production and longevity. Sealing cells against the weather and oxidization are challenges. As is encasing the cells in a durable medium which is transparent to the light wavelengths converted to electricity by the cells. Adapting frames to fit standard sizes of pre-manufactured panels in a variety of configurations is ongoing.


From a solar cell to a PV system.svg

The most typical size used for residential installations is 65 inches by 39 inches, while the common size for commercial applications is 77 inches by 39 inches. The smaller size is a better fit for residential projects to maximize available roof space. Most commercial projects have hundreds of panels and this is why the slightly larger panel is a more ideal choice. SunPower is the exception to length and width. Their residential panel is 61 inches by 41 inches, slightly shorter and a little wider than standard panels. Individual solar cells typically measure 125mm square and produce approximately 0.5v @ 3W each.

Solar panel sizes
Image Number of cells Width Height
60 990mm / 39 inches 1651mm / 65 inches
72 990mm / 39 inches 1955mm / 77 inches
Sunpower panel.png
Sunpower 1046mm / 41.2 inches 1558mm / 61.3 inches

Mounting to frames

Development targets

  • Use hoses and couplers to create a liquid cooling loop on rear side of panel
  • drill holes aligned with grids into read of solar panel frame, install rivet nuts
  • sandwich with closed cell "purple foam"
  • drill bamboo planks with grids and bolt to solar panel frame, install gromets and couplers in planks
  • Is there a way to protect the solar cells from oxidation and exposure which is easier to reverse than full encapsulation in silicone resin?
  • nth panel Victron 100/20 (smallest which is capable of 48v)