While paying those monthly power bills, many households get a feeling as if they are throwing away money? If you have been thinking about a greener alternative to your coal-fired electricity line, then, why not switch to a better, affordable, and more efficient source of green energy? Solar panels are the only thing we can think of right now, if that is what is in your mind. Your next door guy is not the right choice for installer. What we are recommending is really building your own solar panels. Do you think you cannot, think again, solar energy can be harnessed to power up your home without much hassles.
Can i make my do it yourself solar panels?
The biggest hurdle you have overcome is the way you thought about building your solar panels. You dont have to be tech savvy to build your solar panel, you will be surprised to know the number of households powered by solar power and not all belong to tech savvy guys. How many among these sun powered-homes are owned by geeky and techie head of the households? Much lesser than 5% in my community. Any literate person can build a solar panel of his own by folllowing these easy and simple instructions one by one.
Buying your stuff. If you have been doing some major repairs or home improvements, chances are you have the most basic tools and skills to power your project. In your to do list of shopping the next thing to come up should be the solar panel kit.
It might be a strong possibility that you will find the solar panel kit at your local DIY store since those are in high demand in these days. Never mind if they don’t, a large inventory of solar panel kits are available on ebay. For the parts, you need to shop for the following: plywood sheating, tin wire, plexiglass, silicon caulk, solar cells, UV-ray protective varnish. The items that eats your maximum dollar away is the solar cell. I have a good list of solar cell retailers and the lowest for each piece of solar cell is 2$.
You can forget it if you are planning to compare the cost of hiring a team to build a solar panel for you and build one on your own. Do you know that the average cost of basic solar installation will cost you at least $20,000? By spreading the total for 20 yes you can calculate the exact monthly payment of yours. Let me tell you, there are plenty of reasons why you should just go out there, shop for the things you need, and just build your own solar panels. When you see other guys building up their solar panels with fun, it is more fulfilling to do it yourself.
Solar energy produces electricity by converting sunlight into energy using photovoltaic cells. Since 2002, solar energy has been increasingly used at a rate of 48% each year making it one of the fastest growing energy sources to date. With the ever-increasing knowledge and study of this source of energy the materials used to produce solar cell arrays has also become easier to come by for home energy use. Solar heating, solar electric, and solar hot water are the most common ways this power source is being utilized today. Many home owners are interested in having a green home since an energy efficient home is not only environmentally friendly but the potential savings are substantial.
Building home solar panels is actually not as difficult as one would think, provided you have the materials needed. One such material that is probably the biggest stumbling block when it comes to building your own solar panels is the solar cells themselves. Its not the sources of the panels you need to worry about, it’s the pricing and the quality that you must be sure of before deciding to buy. The best source for finding solar cells is eBay but you must be aware of who you are buying from. New cells are available but you will pay dearly to get them.
Therefore, the best option for getting your hands on suitable solar cells is to buy a set of broken or chipped cells that come bundled together. Buying broken cells may not sound like much fun but as long as you thoroughly research the seller as best you can you should be able to get a good idea of the quality you can expect when buying solar cells. The most commonly used cells are 3×6 mono-crystalline; make sure the panels you buy are tabbed cells. The cells will more then likely come to you covered in wax, they are dipped in wax in an effort to better secure them for shipment since the cells themselves are very fragile and thin.
Once you have the solar cells the next step is to create a shallow box to house them. Typically, a solar cell is comprised of 36 cells, which come out to needing roughly a 46” x 24” box structure to be built. Using simple materials like plywood and 1” slats will more then suffice for this. Your overall design for the structure of the box is entirely up to you, basically the function of this piece is to just hold the cells in place and allow them to soak up the sun’s energy so don’t get to worried over the minor details.
Once you have your shallow box built its time to begin soldering the cells together. This is done with a string of ribbon wire usually. Simply attach two 10” sections of ribbon wire to each cell with the excess wire hanging off the bottom of the cell. Once you have all the cells soldered with at least an extra 5 inches of ribbon wire hanging off them, you simply turn the cells over and connect the ribbon wire to the tabs on the back of each cell accordingly down the line until you have a string of 6. Make six of these cell strings to complete the basic structure of your panel.
Now that you have 6 cell strings, next step is to attach them to a panel that will fit into the shallow box you made earlier, best is to use a white panel to attach three of them to and make two half panels. Run a copper braided wire across the bottom of each panel and attach each string. Include an at least 3.3 amp blocking diode in series to prevent the panel from discharging your batteries overnight. Using a good silicone to secure the wires and cells is a good tip, make sure you allow it to thoroughly set in before you complete the project by covering and sealing the enclosure with plexiglass. Place your panel in direct sunlight and let it begin charging a few 12-volt batteries. Building your own solar panels is not only much cheaper but a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Do you know how easy it is to build cheap solar panels?
I thought it couldnâ??t be done. I figured the process must be too complex for an average Joe so I went to several retails stores to find out what is the present market price of a solar panelâ?¦
You know what?
The price tags are outrageous!
Luckily, the cashier at one of the stores told me that as long as I wasnâ??t planning on powering an entire apartment building, then building cheap solar panels on my own is a viable option.
Thatâ??s good news!
Okay, so I went online to get the necessary instructions but…guess what? 90% of the info I found online are not detailed enough and also not beginner-friendly.
After hours of persistent search, I came upon a really good guide â?? complete with simple to follow videos. Ding, ding, ding! I build my own solar panel at last!
Iâ??m so happy that I now feel like sharing this 6-step process to building cheap solar panels with you. Here it is!
Tools of the trade:
Plywood panel, solar cells, clear silicon sealant, solders, UV paint, screws, Wire, wood for framing the panel and Plexiglass.
The plywood should be cut according to the amount of cells in your disposal. Coat the plywood with UV paint. At this point, you can begin setting up the solar cells!
Thereâ??s a small tab at the back of the cells and you need to put a little solder on each one. Now take out the wire and press it on top of the soldered tab.
Connect all the cells together suing the wire. With very simple wiring combo, you can get to link and work properly. Very basic stuff, you just connect the negative with the negative and the positive with the positive.
Take out the silicon sealant and install the cells to the plywood. You donâ??t have to cover the wire!
The front part of the panel should be framed with some wood.Â Just apply the sealant to make it stick.
Finally, you need to cover the cells. This is where the Plexiglass comes in â?? you just stick it to the border using that handy silicon!
There you have it! Very simple stuff! Once you get the hang of things, youâ??ll begin to build cheap solar panels that work in double quick time!
Buying solar panels from the market is expensive. It may cost about $10,000 for a small set up that can provide electricity to a house that consumes average of 300 watts power everyday. This set up is too costly for a family.
There is second option also. Build your own solar panel. It is easy.
Solar panel is in fact a shallow box so that the sides of it does not shades the cells when the sun in not overhead. Take the size of it to be 3/8 inch plywood having edges of ¾ x ¾ pieces of wood. Glue the pieces and screw them well. This solar panel is capable of holding 36 3×6 inch cells.
Drill tiny holes at the wall edges. These holes keep air pressure inside the panel by equalizing with outside. It also allows moisture to escape. Make sure these holes to be at bottom otherwise rain or dew may get inside. At the centre divider drill vent holes.
To avoid critters or dusts, stuff inside the some holes fiberglass insulations. The center divider holes don’t require insulation.
After doing this cut 2 pieces masonite peg-board and fit it inside the wells. This boards are substrates to the sub-panel.
Give plexiglass front to the panel in order to protect it from the weather. Even glass can be used instead of plexiglass, but keep in mind that glass is fragile.
To check the quality of it, just hail flying debris and stones on it that can shatter glass, but this will bounce back of plexiglass. Give several coats of paint to the panels so that it can protect the panels from moisture and weather. Also paint the peg-board pieces on both sides. So, now you can start with fitting it. The panels are ready.
Alright fellow beginners, if youâ??re planning to put together your very own DIY solar panel kits, then please take note of the mistakes outlined below.
I made these mistakes when I first started out and needless to sayâ?¦
They caused me a lot of grief!
Okay so here are the top 3 mistakes that you must avoid when making your first solar panel kitsâ?¦
Mistake No.1 â?? Spending more than what is needed.
You know, my first project I spent more than what was necessaryâ?¦
I bought an expensive plywood panel along with a fairly pricey glass sheet to cover the solar cells.
Quite a fair amount of cash wasted there!
Truth of the matter is you can make your own solar panel setup using inexpensive plywood panel. As long as itâ??s durable enough to hold the solar cells together, then youâ??re good to go!
Same goes for the glass sheet. Inexpensive Plexiglass sheet should suffice for your DIY solar panel kits!
My first attempt was a failureâ?¦
Anyway I had to purchase a new plywood panel and glass sheet.
Okay what about my second attempt?
It was a success and best of allâ?¦
The total cost only amounted to $206!
Mistake No.2 â?? Incorrect Wiring.
This mistake is quite common amongst beginners.
When doing the wiring configuration, ensure that the positive and the negative ending of the wires do not come into contact with one another.
To get a better understanding of this, we need to learn fromâ?¦
Mistake No.3 â?? Beginners are Too Reliant on Printed Manuals.
Itâ??s not a good idea for beginners to depend solely on printed manuals.
For me, the wiring process is the trickiest aspect of building a solar panel so itâ??s highly beneficial that we beginners refer to video instructions to get the entire process right.
Before I downloaded the instructional videos, I referred to printed manuals exclusively and it proved to be difficult!
Too many confusing jargons and diagrams killed my enthusiasm. I just couldnâ??t get the assembling process right!
If you watch instructional videos that are beginner-friendly, Iâ??m very sure that youâ??ll be able to assemble those DIY solar panel kits without much hiccups!