|Solar panel in the new box/stand|
While still not cheap the prices a have come down to the point where it was worthwhile to look into doing this. The Grape Solar panel I bought is rated at 235 watts in full sun. This should be enough power to charge all devices, power a computer and light the night with efficient led rope lights.
The challenges to overcome have been cost, weight and portability. The panel itself is about 45 pounds. so too much plywood would make it a back breaker. So the box is made of 1x5 pine with some 1x2 slats on the back. Originally I was going to have plywood doors that open, but after framing they would add a lot of weight. When I was at Loews I saw some translucent blue PVC panels (think tin roof) that would be about the lightest way to protect the panel during transit. My guess is it only adds about 10 pounds.
The wood working is done, so today is painting day. The box is bound to see some rain so this should help make it more water proof. Pics to follow.
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