I was not going to be satisfied until the whole mini solar furnace was self powered, so I used some outdoor UV resistant expanded vinyl sign board, which was carefully fitted and attached to the quad dish assembly with angle brackets and pop rivets. I drew a grid to allow easy alignment and consistent spacing of the cells, and drilled two holes through the vinyl at the + and - cell termination points.I colored the back of the cells with red and black sharpie marker so I would be able to see the polarity of the cell after it was mounted. After all cells were mounted, I connected them in 15 strings of 5 cells each. To avoid back feeding of the parallel strings, I isolated each of the 15 strings from the buss with a diode.The panel generates sufficient power to run the self tracking system, so all of the energy required is produced carbon free.
Now what can we do with the energy produced?
Steam engine, Sterling engine, Cooking, melting lead, heating hot water, distilling water........?
More about the big 7' dish