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  • #46
    Well, it's not my forum, just my thread

    Yes, I have made one of my three panels and I did use the Clear Seal.
    I tried something that didn't work well and I don't recommend it. I tried doing it in two pours and I only thinned the sealer at about 2/3's CS to 1/3 mineral spirits then laid the strings of cells on top of it. I ended up with quite a few bubbles to work out.
    That's where I learned my second mistake, I forgot to wear a good respirator.
    I was working outside under a covered porch, but that still wasn't enough fresh air.
    By the time I'd gotten to the last few cells, I was so stoned and sick that I just didn't give a D@%^$ any more. So I still have bubbles.

    After giving the panel a week to dry, I came back with a 50/50 mix of CS and mineral spirits which was poured over the backs of the cells. Despite the bubbles between the glass and a few cells, the panel seems well sealed.
    You can see how the panel is preforming here:
    http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/showth...12081#post1208

    It's been up a few weeks now and is doing great. Right now we're having the first real rain since the panel was mounted. I'll check it when things dry up, but I'm not worried about it.

    You could consider the panel to be on a tracker now, it's on the top of my van
    I'm still getting use to the idea of NOT parking under trees. Between the shade and the birds it's just a bad idea.
    But the bonus is I can run all the fans I need all of the time!


    Originally posted by tlgoose
    Hi longwolf,
    I`ve been following your forum and was wondering if you have had any success with clear seal?Also been looking at homemade trackers.I don`t know if it would do you any good but there`s alot of sites showing homemade trackers made from old printers.

    Comment


    • #47
      errrrr, what happened to tlgoose's post that I was replying to?

      Comment


      • #48
        Sorry,New to this stuff and i deleted it by mistake.
        Did the 50/50 work better or did you get more bubbles?
        I`m wondering if a 50/50 mix and a little warmer mixture might make the bubbles rise out better.Or maybe some vibration with a warm mix.
        After reading through all your threads and previous threads,i decided to go and get some cs and give it a wurl.Before i found your thread i made a panel.I had one screw on the top that snapped so like a fool i gave it a gentle tap with a hammer and snapped three cells in half but it really didn`t effect the voltage any,just looks poor.I`ll let you know if 50/50 warmed and vibed works after the weekend.One more thing,did you let it set for any time to bring bubles up or does it dry too fast for a day sit?
        Another thing,i found that golf cart companys frequently change rented carts batteries and they are usually gel deep cycles and can usually get them real cheap.I happened to get 2 from a repairman for free with more then 50% life left in them.I also picked up a new one from craigslist from a guy(he had proof of purchase) for $35.Just an FYI.
        Tlgoose

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        • #49
          Yes, the 50/50 mix worked much better.
          The small bubbles rise pretty well with it that thin.
          I may even use a little more thinner next time.

          I found a funnel at walmart that looks like a measuring cup with a funnel shaped bottom, they're in the automotive dept.. It also has a valve you can turn off, a hose, a plug for the hose and a lid for the top of the funnel.
          I cut the hose off to about 2 inches and put the plug into it.
          With the hose that short, you can pour in your pre-mixed sealer and stand the funnel up in a corner while the bubbles float up.
          It worked very well.
          I put the lid on the funnel after the first pour (there was still a little sealer in the funnel) and a week later that bit of sealer was still fluid so I was also able to use it for the second pour.

          I did not try using heat or vibration, but it was over 100 degrees F out there.


          I hope that helps and good luck with your panel(s).

          Comment


          • #50
            Been following this thread & has gained a lot of insights before I start trying it myself. Thank you longwolf!

            Question on your second test w/ the 50/50 mixture. When you poured the mixture over the backs of the cells, did the mixture seeped into or naturally flowed between the glass & the cells? Did you try to do something to remove the bubbles between the glass & the cells before the mixture dried?

            Did you try the 2-pour method again?
            Thanks. This is definitely a big help to all.

            Comment


            • #51
              Cheaper alternative to Sylgard 184

              Hi all,

              QSIL 216 is a real alternative to Sylgard 184. It has the same properties and costs around almost half as little. (that was compared to UK seller, further research shows the prices are more or less the same, comparing best price US Sylgard 184 with Best price Europe Qsil 216, not including postage)

              Prices are important as potting compound, while greatly extending the life of your DIY project, also constitutes up to a quarter of your total DIY costs.

              You can find the product here:
              http://www.knowyourplanet.com/shop/silicone-encapsulant

              Happy building!

              Comment


              • #52
                Part of why I tried doing it in two pours is because of the way the 6x6 cells are curved.
                The idea was to get a layer of sealer down, lay the cells into it slowly, working out any large bubbles as I went. Then place weights on the backs of the cells to try to get them to flatten out close against the glass. But trying to slowly add 36 6x6 tabbed and bussed cells didn't work well. The thick mixture made it even worse and the weights were not enough to push the cells down into this mixture.

                I tried working the bubbles out by gently pressing the backs of the cells. Again, the thick mixture was a problem. As it thickened more, and I became more stoned from the fumes, I started cracking cells and decided to leave well enough alone.

                The second, thinner pour did fill a few of the voids, but for the most part the edges of the cells were already sealed.

                I don't plan to try it with two pours again.
                Next time I'll put the cells in place, clip down the busses on one side of the panel, make a dam (from un-cut sealer) around the other three sides of the glass, raise the un-dammed/buss side of the panel 1/4 to 1/2 inch and slowly pour thinned sealer into the low side of the panel. Once the sealer is covering 2/3 to 3/4 of the panel, I'll remove the clips, finish the dam, level the panel and complete the pour.

                I'm still trying to figure a way to weight and flatten the cells against the glass.

                Comment


                • #53
                  I'm still trying to figure a way to weight and flatten the cells against the glass.
                  Get a teflon vacuum bag (or whatever the bags are they use for surfboard lamination) and hook a small shop vac to it. It will squeeze and compress, and the bubbles will get sucked out. if things are not flat, it will conform the cells to the structure, and if they flex, they will crack.
                  Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                  || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                  || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                  solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                  gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by knowyourplanet View Post
                    Hi all,

                    QSIL 216 is a real alternative to Sylgard 184. It has the same properties and costs around almost half as little.

                    You can find the product here:
                    http://www.knowyourplanet.com/shop/silicone-encapsulant

                    Happy building!
                    Hi, just did the math.
                    It looks like the QSIL runs about $3 per oz. I think I figured Sylgard at $2.50 per oz.
                    Still, it's an alternative.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                      Get a teflon vacuum bag .......
                      Thanks Mike, but I don't think it will take the curve out.
                      Think of it this way, say the sealer is 1/16th of an inch thick and poured over the cells. When the air is removed from the bag, it's only going to compress down to that 1/16th. The cells inside the sealer would still be able to curve that amount.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by longwolf View Post
                        Hi, just did the math.
                        It looks like the QSIL runs about $3 per oz. I think I figured Sylgard at $2.50 per oz.
                        Still, it's an alternative.
                        The price of Sylgard 184 is (in the United states and without postage) now about 62 pounds for two kits of 500 g or 1 kg total
                        Qsil 216 is 65 pounds for 1.1 kg.

                        I guess they cost the same, my bad for getting the price comparison wrong .

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          P-4 from Silicones, Inc.

                          It's a clear 2-part (10:1 ratio) platinum cure. It's very similar to sylgard (viscosity & cured hardness). 2lb kit costs $43.20. So about half the cost.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Sizz View Post
                            P-4 from Silicones, Inc.

                            It's a clear 2-part (10:1 ratio) platinum cure. It's very similar to sylgard (viscosity & cured hardness). 2lb kit costs $43.20. So about half the cost.
                            I do not believe this compound is UV stable and would yellow over time unlike Sylgard 184 and Qsil 216

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by knowyourplanet View Post
                              I do not believe this compound is UV stable and would yellow over time unlike Sylgard 184 and Qsil 216
                              How do you know this?

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Sizz View Post
                                How do you know this?
                                Hi, I have spoken to Silicones INC technical support, the product P-4 is not UV resistant and not designed with UV resistance in mind (or PV application) and will yellow in time.

                                For further details about qsil 216 and its applications, see the following PDF.

                                http://www.acc-silicones.com/_assets...on%20sheet.pdf

                                Qsil 216 was specifically developed for high intensity solar potting to optimise the output of the cells.

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