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Forum Index : Other Stuff : Other uses for solar panel glass

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rogerdw
Regular Member

Joined: 22/10/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 78
Posted: 03:33am 10 Mar 2020
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Hi guys, just looking for ideas for re-using solar panel glass.

Seems like a really useful resource  ...  just need to find an out-of-the-box idea to use it for some sort of energy saving or energy gathering purpose.

At roughly 1 mtr x 1.6 mtr  ...  you get a fair coverage per sheet  ...  though the weight also adds up pretty quickly at approx 16kg/sheet.
Cheers,  Roger
 
renewableMark

Guru

Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1564
Posted: 09:38am 10 Mar 2020
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coffee table?
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
Davo99
Guru

Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 494
Posted: 02:25pm 10 Mar 2020
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How easy are the panels to get apart and does the glass come out clean?

The sheets would be good for a green/ glasshouse.
 
rogerdw
Regular Member

Joined: 22/10/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 78
Posted: 02:48pm 10 Mar 2020
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I need to explain why I asked the question.

We have some glasshouses on our block which have not been used in the time we've been here ... 4 years.

Someone is interested in using them, so we've been fixing them up ... and have run out of glass.

I checked on marketplace to see what I'd have to pay for glass ... and came across someone selling solar panel glass ... in bulk.

1660mm x 995mm x 3.2mm tempered glass ... slight stains in the glass apparently ... but otherwise surplus to their requirements.

From the photos, they look new because they are very well wrapped and stacked ... like from the factory... not from a scrapyard!!!

Best part was the price ... $1 each ... and cheaper in quantity  ... 1,300 kg a pallet load.

They did suggest glasshouses ... but my mind was going 100mph.

Of course, since I asked the question  ... the ad is gone (I saw it first nearly a week ago) ... so someone must have grabbed the lot ... but it is still worth consideration.
Cheers,  Roger
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 494
Posted: 11:02pm 10 Mar 2020
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Well, now that you mention it...

You initial post and thinking of greenhouses did get my feeble mind ticking over....
I was thinking of building a small greenhouse out of solar panels.

Basicaly, make a box out the things with the cells facing outwards. They don't pass much light of course but they would make plenty of power to run LED Lights inside and the backings being white is nice and reflective to help with that.

The black outer side would certainly keep things warm enough inside and I think it could all be screwed together with the front panels hinged for entry.

They are not symmetrical as in 1x1.5 but I'm sure some thing could be worked out to make a suitable design.
Last year I put a 100L water tank in my greenhouse that was heated to 40Oc.  never saw the temp in the greenhouse drop below 12 0C over nightwhich is a critical temp.
The solar power could be used to heat the water as well as power the LED's

There was a stack of 405W panels down the road which were 2.2M tall and would have been great for this even though they were shattered.  Wouldn't have been a problem as they were still producing decent power and I could have built something substantial with them.
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1564
Posted: 08:43am 11 Mar 2020
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If a panel was working it should be worth way more than a sheet of glass.
If it wasn't working it would most likely be as the glass was shattered.

Thousands of greenhouses in the hills around the yarra ranges, they all use a hoop system and a durable plastic which blocks some of the sun to make it less harsh.
They last years and only need a flimsy frame.




Anyway if you have some panels you don't want, try pulling one apart. The goop they use is polyurethane, so you'll have a hell of a time just getting the aluminium frame off without breaking the glass. Then you'll have to get the cells off the glass, apparently the backing sheet which surrounds the actual cells, is fused on in a vacuum with high temp.

Might be really easy..... dunno, never tried to deliberately wreck a panel before.

BUT where the hell did that bloke get all that glass? We don't make panels here in Aus, so it's unlikely they were new pre manufacture parts.
Edited 2020-03-11 18:47 by renewableMark
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 494
Posted: 12:39pm 11 Mar 2020
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  renewableMark said  If a panel was working it should be worth way more than a sheet of glass.


Sadly, round here they aren't.

Picked up a bunch of panels the other week from the scrap yard which apart from needing a clean, all worked fine. They were just older 190W panels.  I got a load more around Christmas, some of them Brand new 360 and 405w, a bit over 7 Kw worth all up. They were in a garbage pile after a Local installer I believe moved premises.

Panels are Fast turning into a waste problem.
Because of the complete and utter BS CEC " safety" standard garbage which is nothing more than a self servicing licence scheme to keep the industry ticking along, Thousands of perfectly good panels are going to waste.

The way the Rules and regulations are now, If your inverter fails, unless you can replace it with teh EXACT same one, you have to bring the WHOLE system up to current standard which is impossible. You can only install panels on the CEC list and of course the chances of finding a 5-7 y/o inverter that's not as bad as the one you are replacing is minimal as well.
As such the WHOLE system gets scrapped and a new one installed.  Perfectly good , functional panels going to waste for the Typical reason of profit.

The whole thing is a complete beat up by an industry feathering it's own nest.

As such, panels that are barely if even 1/3rd the way though their life time are being thrown away and worth nothing as they cannot be legally re installed on a grid connected system. From what I read, there are moves afoot if not already brought in that you can't use old non compliant panels on off grid systems either which is just more BS.  

Yeah, I was looking at ads today for used panels with stupid asking prices reflecting what the install price was 7 or more years ago which amazes me. The people advertising them would have known what the new larger system they just replaced the old one they are sell was worth but I guess one greedy person follows another and tries their luck.  When I was still Buying panels a year ago, even then  I'd offer $200 when people were asking $1000, get told where to shove my offer and a fortnight to a couple of months later, get a message saying if you are still interested, come get them. 2 lots I got for Free when I was the only offer and the people found they were going to have to pay to get them taken away otherwise.

I'm going through the 80 or so panels I have just sitting around now sorting what I don't want ( anything sub 250W )and I'll be happy to get $20 ea for them.  May as well get that as ask some stupid price I'll never get anyway.

I feel a bit silly now paying my going rate of $75 a KW for 250W panels and about $40 Kw for anything less 12 Months ago BUT, I can console myself knowing I made my money out of them already  and I'm ahead.
I think there is a glut of used panels round here at least and from vids I have seen of the place in SA that recycles them, they are getting way more than they can handle.

I honestly think that inside 2 years with the way things are going, it's going to COST people to get rid of old panels and they will be happy to give the things away.

Their value will soon be limited to roofing for the Chook shed.
 
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