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Thread: small PV project

  1. #1 small PV project 
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    recently a small satellite dish has passed into my hands - I am thinking of making a small photovoltaic project......I am planning on using the surface area of the dish to reflect onto a small solar panel -

    my question is can I use a small and cheap panel for this project?

    I am worried if the heat etc will affect it, as far as I am aware a 12V PV is the size it is to be able to capture enough sunlight but since I will be focusing a large area into a smaller one can I expect a higher voltage/amp output then the panel is rated at? is this safe?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    might be better to use it during times when the sun is low in the sky, or partially cloudy etc... and avoid the risk of burning it out.

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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Washington State
    First I'd start by taking the temperature of the focus point. Many of the plastics in solar collectors arent' designed for extremely hot temperatures. Most times the manufacturer will list the operating temperature range (most are designed for up to at least 80C). Even if it does work you'll probably reduce the life of the collector and lower their efficiency which is typical for PV cells.

    If your just playing around though give it a shot with cheap trickle PV panets. You might be able to cool it with something simple like backing the panel with old CPU heat sinks etc.

    You'll find some pretty innovative ways to track the sun on the net.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    You also don't have to use the focal point. Increase or decrease the distance from the dish center to increase the area of the reflected light, reducing the heat per sq. in.

    Is it a metal dish that you polished, or has plated?
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