Aluminum can solar energy?

I have found a lot of information on using aluminum cans for solar heating…but I am looking for any information on using aluminum cans as a medium for solar panels and how this can be used to create electricity for the charging of a storage system (common storage systems which use marine batteries) in order to provide electrical energy to a house. Any and all plans, blueprints, thoughts, ideas, etc are welcome. I’m looking to go off-grid (does not have to be with this system, but I hope not to spend so much money as is required to solar panels in order to do this), something that can be done without looking to a major manufacturer if at all possible.

I’m also open to ideas involving a combination of systems. An example might be using the heat trapped in the attic of your home which spins the attic vents on the roof in order to spin or turn a set of turbine blades used to charge a set of batteries, in turn providing a renewable power source for your home.

If anyone has any thoughts, ideas or information on anything such as this which is real, please let me know. Thank you.

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2 Responses to Aluminum can solar energy?

  1. J. says:

    The cans are a poor shape for applying PV technology. If you cut them in half it might be a different situation, but carefully cut one of your cans in half- labor intensive. Now just how much strength does it have? Not much. It will not hold up to the conditions flat panels are made to endure.

    Not to mention that in order to get get good adhesion to aluminum, there are a number of steps involved, and it is time consuming and not cheap either. That is even before you try to apply something to them. Then is the matter of electrolytic corrosion. Aluminum is rather reactive to other metals when you get them wet, and this action is accelerated by salt.

    As for what is current, you should do more research, as Powerfilm is a flexible PV material. It is applied in a laminated manner. It is also applied to standing seam roofing. http://www.powerfilmsolar.com So no matter how much maligned polyester may be for clothing, it is a highly useful synthetic in electronics and for PV ssytems.

    If you want to see projects you might be able to do in your home, check out the projects section of http://www.builditsolar.com Be prepared to spend several hours there.

    If you want to try experiment with various items to try generate eelctricity, go for it. No harm in trying something, but just make sure to evaluate the phsyical properties of the materials to be sure they will hold up. Also know that when things break apart, they will become projectiles that can kill. So if you have neighbors within a mile of you, skip experimenting with PVC pipe- it breaks too easy and flies very far when it does- and it can kill. Do some serious research, and use some proven methods, such as what the recent books by Hugh Piggott describe. His wooden bladed props have a proven track record. And understand why they do. This will go far to keeping you from spending time with dead ends.

  2. johnm says:

    I suspect the beer can passive solar systems work- but you might find a better way to passively heat your house. Maybe if you have access to old but non- leaking car radiators from a junkyard, installing some on the roof and some in the house, with a small battery powered pump to circulate the hot water, and a fan on the radiator in the house to circulate warm air. Or building thick adobe walls to store heat or cold air. The cheapest way might be to better insulate your existing house. Wind power works to generate electricity if you live where the wind blows consistently, but won’t pay if you live in a calm wind area. Solar panels are economical in small sizes, $150.00 for 40 watts at Harbor Freight on sale, but you can’t get lots of appliances on for very long or you will run your batteries down.