Solar Panel PrototypesBy this time, the panel was nearly ready for testing. Just a few things remained though. The corners needed some reinforcement, the area around the wires needed sealing, and it needed helium in it.
Here it is, with the helium in it already. Easy to see, isn't it? Still left to do: Goop around the wires, which was probably not necessary, given that they are surrounded by polyurethane right under the aluminum channel, but I wanted it there for insurance. I also wanted some kind of cap for the corners, but I couldn't find anything like that in my exhaustive search of a single hardware store. So, eager to finish the panel, I bought a strip of aluminum, and cut it into triangles. The corners themselves still lacked coverings, but I didn't think that to be an utter necessity; at least the tops would have some reinforcement. I also wanted to caulk the inner edges of the C-channels.
Finished. The aluminum triangles are epoxied in place on the corners, the wires are Gooped, and all edges are caulked. Something I didn't mention yet - that little circle in the center is a small cylinder of aluminum, also epoxied in place. It provides support for the polycarbonate in the event of strong winds, hail, or whatever else might put a lot of pressure on the front. It was something else I had to make myself, cut to the right size from a larger rod.
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