Make Your Own Solar Panel From Readily Available Materials

Any DIY enthusiast who is serious about his or her hobby has at some point wondered if you can make your own solar panel? Well the answer is yes! you can make your own solar panel and better still it can be done inexpensively and with readily available materials that you will find around your home and local hardware store.

Things you will need for a make your own solar panel project.

Get some solar cells, there are a number of different types of solar cells you can buy. If your trying to build your panels on a budget then go with polycrystalline cells as these are the cheapest form of solar cell on the market today.

You can buy your cells easily online from places like Amazon take a look here for their large range

The number of cells you buy will determine the size of your panel. Lay them out and measure them before cutting a backing board for your cells.

When cutting your board, leave a generous border for running wires along.

Next we need to get our wiring set up. Take a look at your cells and take a long look at the lines you will find on the cells.

You should notice a number of lines running one way and two thicker lines running at 90 degrees to the smaller lines. These lines need to be connected to tabbing wire that will connect to the corresponding large lines of the next solar cell. Connect the wires by using solder.

Once you have all your cells connected and soldered to tabbing wire arrange the cells in an array and glue them to your backing board you cut earlier.

A tabbing is one of the more trickier aspects of building your own solar panel, if your not confident there is a diy guide by earth for energy which has an extremely comprehensive, but easy to follow guide which comes with step by step video as well as written instruction to ensure your diy solar panel project is a success. Tabbing in particular is shown in great detail. Learn More Here….

Once you have glued and tabbed all your cells, then you need to make a panel box.

Cut a frame from timber to the same dimension of the backing board ensuring the frame doesn’t cover the cells in anyway but does still allow room for the wiring.

Attach the frame with screws and glue, add a coat of paint and your done for this step.

Now we have the panel constructed we need to wire the panel to a diode. You will also need to add a charge controller to connect the panel and any batteries you may wish to use to store charge. Once again it may good to get a guide for this stage, the one we used is found here.

Next get some plexiglass and cut it to fit inside your frame and place it over your cells, attach firmly using some wooden beading.

And now you are done! Congratulations on building your first solar panel! if any of this is confusing we will be adding pictures shortly, also, we highly recommend you pick up the earth for energy guide to walk you through the process step by step, using video to ensure your “make your own solar panel” project is a success. Click here to learn more

How effective are they?

The effectiveness of any homemade solar panels depends largely on how many panels you want to, or are willing to make.

A single panel isn’t going to power any major appliance in your home, but certainly provide enough power to run a  laptop, lighting and other low energy dependent items and is perfect for portable uses, such as a recreational vehicle or camping trip.

Building an array of these panels can prove very lucrative as you can indeed use the power generated to run a substantial portion of your homes electrical devices and along with slashing your power bill you may even be able to sell excess energy back to the power grid and get a healthy rebate.

These panels are a load of fun to make and its a very satisfying feeling knowing you can generate your own power, how knows you may even be able to set up a little business making extremely affordable panels!

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