I’m going to show you how to build a long lasting solar panel frame.
Solar cells last up to 25 years so we want a sturdy frame to house yours cells for a lasting solar home power system.
Note: Parts list – Aluminum angle, map gas, aluminum blazing rods, ” C ” clamps.
- You will need to visit your local Lowes or Home Depot for supplies. What your going to look for is aluminum angel of 3/4″ by 3/4 by 1/8″ thick by 96″ or longer. It should be about $25.00.
- If you look in your area for aluminum dealer it will be cheaper. If your in an area that aluminum isn’t available you can make your frame out of wood. It just won’t last near as long.
- Also you will need to buy a Map gas kit from Home Depot or Lowes. This is what I use but brand doesn’t matter. You want map gas because it gets hotter than propane.
4. If you go to Harbor Freight get a container of brazing rods for Aluminum ( about $16 ).
Have a small pair of vice grips handy if not pick one up at Home Depot or Lowes. You will also need very small “c” clamps ( 8 each ) at about $2.00 ea which you will use to hold the 4 corners together while you braze the frame.
Pick up a pair of clear safety glasses while in hardware store.
5. You will be cutting this on a 45 degree cut. Use a hack saw ( from hardware store if you don’t have one ) and mark using a speed square ( hardware store if you don’t have one ) and your sharpie pin.
6. The length’s are from tip to tip. With is 27″ and length is 37″.
7. Now that you have all the necessary items on hand lets get to making the frame.
8. cut the two lengths at 27″ tip to tip and then cut the two lengths at 37″ tip to tip.
9. Position the 27″ and 37″ pieces like a picture frame.
11. Now we need to cut 4 pieces of aluminum with straight edges. take a length of uncut aluminum and cut to 5/8″ length each. These will be used to strengthen the corners. Sit the 4 small pieces you just cut in each corner and tighten the clamps 2 on each corner. Clamp two clamps on each corner to hole together the frame.
12. Now you need to braze the corners. Use the vise grips to hold the brazing rods. Take your map gas with attached nozzle and the aluminum rods your purchased. Wear your protective glasses you got from Home Depot or Lowes. Light the gas and hold over the corner and move around bottom, top, sides for about 4 minutes. test a little solder by touching it to the small pieces you clamped. When its hot enough the solder will run. Braze all edges of the piece you have clamped in the corner.
14. I promise you will get the hang of it. Remember not to touch the frame because it will be hot. Un-clamp one corner at a time after it has cooled off. If it seems solid and doesn’t come apart un-clamp the other corners doing the same.
15. Take the finished blazing job and hold frame in your hands and tap on ground and shake it. It should be solid. If not re-clamp and re-braze. This frame will have a longer life span than you.
Well your doing great, keep it up. Our next step is adding and attaching the glass and a wire. As always if any questions feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org