DIY Project – Build Your Own Solar Panel



Do you want to build your own solar panel? It can be a simple task which anyone can do easily at home and enjoy the long-term benefits you’ll get from its construction. This is especially rewarding if you can get your family involved since it cultivates a green sense of responsibility. Now if anyone is doubtful about whether or not this is possible – let’s be clear about this. It’s entirely viable to build your own solar panel at home but probably smarter to just buy one. So let’s get started assuming you really want to do this.

Here's a good primer on a DIY pre-fabbed solar panel. It's about 14 minutes long but pretty instructive:

Essentially, solar panels are contraptions built to transform the sun’s energy and power into electricity. While often referred to as “solar panels” they are actually solar arrays. They make use of the sunlight to produce electricity. As a side note astronomers denote the sun as “Sol” causing scientists to name this device as photovoltaic, which means light-electricity. Ok let’s get on with it. Usually, solar panels are made up of a combination of solar cells. The more the combination of cells, the greater the amount of electricity you can acquire from your device.

Using the knowledge about how to build your own solar panel will not only let you have your own source of electricity but also help you in cut down the your electric bill. To do this you’ll need to invest some bucks in material to construct your own solar panel. Building solar panels is not a complicated or complex task; you can build them in your backyard without any difficulty.

Following are the necessary steps involved in the making of solar panels:

1. Raw materials and instruments needed:

Raw materials that are required for building the solar panels can be purchased easily from the Home Depot, Lowes or any local hardware store. The things needed are as follows:

  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Flux pen
  • Caulk gun
  • Panel output multi-meter
  • Paint brush
  • Drill
  • Cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Wood glue
  • Gloves and sun shades for protection
  • batches of solar cells
  • a diode to insure power flows in one direction

2. Constructing the panels:

As stated before, solar panels are made by combining a set of solar cells. So the first thing to do is to get a set of cells to build your own solar panel. Usually, people at home build solar panels with an eighteen volt output. Let’s work on this assumption. This will require thirty-six solar cells for each panel. Cells are typically sold in the form of batches of thirty-six, one hundred, and one hundred and eight cells together and can be purchased from most hardware stores as well as online.

Now, the next step to build your own solar panel is to make a frame or container for your solar cells. You can use wood to make the container for your cells. Normally, plywood is used for this purpose. You measure the size and dimensions of your solar panels and then make the container accordingly. Do not forget to drill holes at the back of the box for passing the wires. You should also use glass as a lid to cover your panel so get a piece of Plexiglas or Lexan to fit over the container.

After making the container, glue all your cells together and wire them with a soldering iron. Join all of the thirty-six cells collectively. This will give you the aforementioned eighteen volt output. You’ll also need to connect a diode with your solar panels in order to maintain a unidirectional flow of power. Before the final implementation, stick your cells on a substrate by using a caulking gun. This step should be performed very neatly. As the wood expands due to sunlight, a small quantity of caulk will be applied to the back and the corners of the cells. After that, leave the panels to set and dry.

3. The final implementation:

In the last step, pull all the wires of the substrate out from the bottom of the container and seal the hole with a caulking gun to avoid moisture. Then glue the substrate into the wooden container and fix the glass lid over the solar panels by using screws to provide protection.

Now that you have successfully built your own solar panel, they’ll be ready to generate electricity. Place them where you can get direct sunlight and enjoy your own free power.Of course it’s much easier to buy a prefabricated panel rather than build your own solar panel but it’s an interesting and rewarding project especially if it’s planned and carried out with the family.


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