The cost to manufacture photovoltaic solar panels is a refection of the cost of oil not the cost of the actual product. This is because of the large amount of energy, used in the manufacturing process. That energy is produced primarily by oil and is a reflection of the cost of that oil. If the manufacturing process was supported by solar energy the cost would be more indicative of the cost of the labor and material of the process.
Information about the use of photovoltaic solar panels.
My present activities in using solar energy are in 2 separate areas.
#1: I have 5, 120 watt panels I am using to power a freezer. I also have an ice box that I made from a small refrigerator. I removed the compressor and tubing etc from the refrigerator. I added much more insulation around the outside of the box and installed it into a area a bit larger the the original refrigerator. I filled the remaining space with insulation. I run the freezer during the day when the sun is shining. On a bright sunny day there is enough power to run 2 freezers like I am using. The extra power is used to charge batteries. The freezer can generate enough ice in one sunny day to keep the icebox cold for 4 days. The freezer is turned off at night and everything remains frozen. The panels of photovoltaic cells produce enough power to run the freezer even when the sky is partly cloudy. This was the reason to have about 2 times more panel power than what is needed. This system will power both a freezer and supply the ice for a large ice box, lighting, plus accessories like TV computer etc in a motor home for continuous dry parking. The cost is about $4000.00 including the 1000 watt inverter. Note the inverter needs to have a 90 second RC time delay on the voltage sense lead to prevent the inverter from failing during surge currents. I am using 6 large deep cycle storage batteries
#2: I am developing a computer controlled linear heat engine to generate electric energy from sunshine. This engine is a simple piston and cylinder. The cylinder has iron sleeves with coils of copper wire placed every inch with a small space between. The piston has permanent magnets attached as part of the piston. The valves are controlled electrically by a computer. The computer monitors the position of the piston by the pulses that are produced in the coils as the piston travels back and forth in the cylinder. These pulses are rectified with the use of diodes to produce a DC voltage power. There is no crank shaft needed. This assembly will mount on the roof with the condenser medium under the vehicle or in a place that is in the shade where it can dissipate the heat. The heat engine medium may use ammonia or any number of refrigerants. There is almost no limit to the length of the piston if the piston is in the sunshine. Each end of the piston has a bounce end. The bounce end is the end of the piston beyond the coils. After the valves are closed the trapped refrigerant medium gets compressed by the momentum of the piston and magnet assembly until the momentum energy is absorbed by the compressing of the trapped gas. After the piston comes to a stop, before crashing into the end of the cylinder the trapped gas is compressed so as to start the piston back in the other direction. At this time the valve to exhaust the gas at the other end that the piston is now traveling toward is open. After the piston reaches a sensor point then the valve that applies the hot gas under pressure to the opposite end of the cylinder is opened. This is all controlled by a computerized valve control system. The only moving parts are the piston and the electrically controlled valves. There is no need to have a crank shaft or cam shaft. This allows all of the moving parts to be hermetically sealed so as not to be loosing any refrigerant to the atmosphere. Also the efficiency of the system can be made much better than a system that must drive a crankshaft and a camshaft.