Throughout October and November this year, a small group of dads and their kids worked with Art and Energy at Kaleider Studios in Exeter to make their own solar panel artworks.
This project was made possible with the help of Exeter Community Energy who supplied the tools that enable Art and Energy to deliver workshops for all sorts of groups.
How do you make a solar panel artwork?
Session 1: The first step in making a solar panel artwork is to create your design – choose where you want your solar cells to go and the draw or paint of the surface of the glass to create a mask that hides the tabbing wires.
Rather than spend ages planning it out, our group had a think about things that remind them of energy, and they dove straight in.
Session 2: The second stage of making the solar panel is very delicate work, soldering tabbing wire to the solar cells took lots of team work for the dads and their kids.
Once all the cells have tabbing wire attached to them, a sheet of EVA glue holds them in place on the glass and more soldering is needed to connect all the cells together in a circuit.
Only then can you finish encapsulating all the circuit in more EVA glue to stop it getting wet and protect it a little from breaking.
Session 3: The final stage of building the artwork requires testing with our grow lamps. Once you know the solar panel is working, it can be put into its frame and then connected to a converter which ensures that you have 5V of power which allows you to plug in a USB.
Our team of makers created 4 new solar panel artworks and they learned more about how solar panels are made.
“My favourite bit was soldering” Hector
“It is very good” Felix
“There was a lot of electrical stuff” Aidan
“It was amazing” Ada
“Ada and I thoroughly enjoyed every stage of making our solar panel artwork” Bruce
“Truly Unique and also a lot of fun with a working product at the end. Loved it!” Simon
How do I make a solar panel?
If you’re interested in making your own solar panel artwork please come along to one of our workshops in 2020