You often see signs around construction sites that are solar powered, from time to time these signs will get damaged from drunk drivers or rubber-neckers passing through construction areas. Most of the time, the solar panels are still working but the glass above them is shatered so they have less of an output. Typically they still produce about 30 watts of power. The ones that are not shatered produce 60 watts and cost about $200-$300 dollars. Look closely at the signs and you will find a sticker with the phone number of the traffic sign rental contractor. Use your pen and paper to write down this number.
Call the company and ask for the shop maintaince manager or head mechanic and ask him for free damaged panels. If you have kids who enjoy doing experments, have them ask. Most companies love to help kids doing a school or class project. Most all traffic rental sign contractors have free solar panels that have some cracks or slightly damaged when drunk drivers hit the parked sign trailers. They replace them and throw away the damaged ones – and their insurance covers the cost. If they say you can come down and pick them up, you will want to take a big truck or trailer with you so that you can take off of the garbage panels they have with you. I tis best to take all of it, and disassemble whatever you do not need at home. If they do not have any panels or are unwilling to work with you, be nice, and ask them if they can refer to anyone that would be willing to unload some damaged panels. Be on time when you make an apointment to go and see them – and do not skip any appointments you make with them! Thank the shop mechanic with a box of doughnuts and refreshments and he might even call you when he has some more discard solar panels!
Once you get the panels home, test and repair the damaged panels as needed, cracks can be resealed with clear silicone. Wiring can be soldered back together.
Always Be polite when asking for discard parts
Don’t stop on a busy road to get the phone number from a solar sign, as this is very dangerous and you can cause an accident.
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