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  #11  
Old 01-24-2012
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With a dark blue (or black) solar cell deck, how hot is that going to be on bare feet?
or even how much heat transfer thru the deck ? (going to have to up the ac capacity)
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Shadows will cut the output down by a large amount.
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Old 01-24-2012
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ulferlingsson

What panels did you use and how did you connect them?
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Old 01-25-2012
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Also, I think the clear gelcoat (and textured gelcoat even more so) will cut the output more than you would expect. I say this because I talked to the architect of the local botanical gardens' big addition, and he explained that they had to use single-glazed glass instead of double-glazed because the extra layer of glazing would have meant that all the plants would starve to death in the winter. Who would have thought a layer of glass would substantially reduce insolation?

Not to say that it's a bad idea, you just have to overbuild the capacity. Pretty cool, imo.
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Old 01-25-2012
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It will be very interesting to see how that holds up after some years of foot traffic and gear banging on deck, whether the panels develop microcracks and stress fractures or if they are durable enough to be installed that way, and keep working.
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Old 01-25-2012
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I'll reply to all if I remember... It's an Ensenada 20, almost the same as Balboa.

Shadows are a problem, to deal with that I have 2 x 47 cells, starboard and port are in parallel so if half is shadowed the other is still delivering full power. Also, if one cell is completely shadowed (as in someone sitting on it) it will act as a resistor and get very very hot. If 25% are shadowed no energy will be produced. To deal with that problem there are bypass diodes, 7 on each side, so that groups of cells can be completely bypassed.

As for the cells being dark and getting hot for that reason, remember that they convert the light to electricity instead of heat. However, the minimum energy light they can use is near infra-red, and anything with more energy (such as all visible light) has excess energy that cannot be converted to electricity but turns into heat. Still, it gets a lot less hot than a non-solar panel surface of the same color.

By the way, the blue color is from blue pearl, the cells are really black when embedded.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
ulferlingsson

What panels did you use and how did you connect them?
6" x 6" solar cells bought on eBay. Get A grade, the others are inconsistent and lower power. If you buy a kit instructions come with it, I believe, but they are available on the net if you google. The cells can bend a little, enough to follow the normal bend of a deck. And use diodes, there are special solar cell diodes that are only a millimeter high and have minimal voltage drop. You also need a charging device, I got one good for 30 A that is automatic, can use from 36 to 72 cells and charge 12 V or 24 V.
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Love this.

I think the clear gelcoat (and textured gelcoat even more so) may cut the output more than you would expect. I say this because I talked to the architect of the local botanical gardens' big addition, and he explained that they had to use single-glazed glass instead of double-glazed because the extra layer of glazing would have meant that all the plants would starve to death in the winter. Who would have thought a layer of glass would substantially reduce insolation?

Not to say that it's a bad idea, you just have to overbuild the capacity. Pretty cool, imo.
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Love this.

I think the clear gelcoat (and textured gelcoat even more so) may cut the output more than you would expect. I say this because I talked to the architect of the local botanical gardens' big addition, and he explained that they had to use single-glazed glass instead of double-glazed because the extra layer of glazing would have meant that all the plants would starve to death in the winter. Who would have thought a layer of glass would substantially reduce insolation?

Not to say that it's a bad idea, you just have to overbuild the capacity. Pretty cool, imo.
I tested the change in output before I went ahead. It was not measurable with my voltmeter. The reason is that there is no air between the gelcoat and the solar cell. If there had been, it would have created specular reflection and a loss. However, the addition of too much blue pearl did lower the output a bit, I have yet to measure how much.
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Old 01-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulferlingsson View Post
I tested the change in output before I went ahead. It was not measurable with my voltmeter. The reason is that there is no air between the gelcoat and the solar cell. If there had been, it would have created specular reflection and a loss. However, the addition of too much blue pearl did lower the output a bit, I have yet to measure how much.
In time won't the gel coat become scuffed and scratched? You'd have to be careful of what cleaners you use. I'd also worry about someone dropping anything heavy on the decks.

Sure hope you report back in a few yrs as to how it works out.
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