How to Make Solar Panels
Introduction: Octanis 1: How to Make Solar Panels
Octanis 1 will fly to Antarctica and land a satellite controlled rover. To do this, it needs lots of power and it will get it from the sun! Here’s a guide on how to make Octanis’ solar panels.
We used Sunpower C50 cells, that can be cut with a diamond glass cutter. It’s enough to score the cell with precise force and then snap it carefully, hoping it will snap along the cut line. The yield for this is about 50%, so make sure you order enough cells!Step 2: Clean Them
Use a sonicator bath to clean the cells.
Cut the adhesive foil to size (Octanis 1 has a panel size of 30cm x 30cm). Peel off the adhesive foil and set it aside. Place the non adhesive side on a flat surface. Make sure you align them correctly (pay attention to the polarity).
Then solder them together using solar tabbing (get it on eBay). Octanis 1 uses a 7s2p (7 series, 2 parallel) configuration. Soldering is straightforward, use solder tin if necessary. Solder as you would solder a PCB.
When you’re done with soldering, carefully stick the adhesive on to the solar cells. It should be sticking on the back side of the cells!