Build Your Own Solar Panels
Many folk who have been intrigued by solar power soon seek knowledge about how to build your own solar panels. In all probability they have already digested a certain amount of how these green energy systems can save on electricity bills whether it be for business premises or the household. In our modern world we are now more aware than anytime previously about the need for these cleaner renewable sources of energy, as well as the savings that can follow. Building your own diy solar panelsfits this bill admirably.
Although solar panels are a lot less obtrusive and certainly a whole lot quieter than the wind turbines that are springing up all over our countryside, as yet, they are the more expensive option. There are many trains of thought about solar energy advantages and disadvantages, but that being said, the reality is, they are the popular choice across many countries and governments. Certainly to the extent of many of these governments pouring in plenty of money into the development and installation of solar power systems.
Certainly a way around reducing the cost of having your own renewable energy source, would be to build your own solar panels. Obviously the size of the system should be taken into account before embarking on any project like this, especially if your knowledge base and the required skills levels are low. Building a smaller type of project might well be the sensible route to go, for those with less knowledge and skills, before deciding to build something more challenging. See diy solar panel answers to questions by visiting the link.
Another point to bear in mind is, if you’re only looking for a single 12v solar panel, the best option may be to purchase it and so avoid the learning curve involved in using the diy route. On the other hand, you might simply want the challenge of doing a self build solar power system. For whatever reason, you will have the good feeling and satisfaction of doing something about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. If a bit of forethought is given to the do-it-yourself solar panel building before diving in, you should manage to complete a project without to much difficulty.
Build Your Own Solar Panels in 12 Simple Stages
There are more or less twelve stages involved in building homemade solar panels. Nothing to overwhelming, if as mentioned earlier, a bit of forethought is put in place. Sourcing all the materials required along with the tools needed for the job will obviously be the first stage.
Starting with the tools you’ll need to have to hand, will be:
An Electric power drill and a selection of drill bits.
A soldering iron and solder.
Sanding tool and sand paper.
Other tools needed
A Caulk gun and transparent type silicone.
Digital multimeter with multifunction facility.
A rosin flux pen.
Pair of crimping pliers.
A roller or a paint brush.
A staple gun
Materials to source to get started:
Red and black roll of 20 gauge copper wire – large
Some tile spacers.
A deep cycle battery and a DC to AC inverter.
60 feet of tabbing wire.
2 x 4 feet of marine grade plywood, .
2 off, 1x2x10 inches of marine grade plywood.
2 x 4 feet Sheet of clear plexiglass.
36 off, solar cells – generally used to produce 18 volts of electric power.
2 x 4 feet of pegboard.
Around 16 feet of bus wire.
UV protector sealant.
Wood to wood, mending plates.
2 off, Wiremold strips.
A Charge controller
Now you’ve gathered everything together, time to get building, diy style.
Stage 2. Time to measure up.
Taking the marine grade plywood strips, measure them to size and then cut to make the framework. Next drill a pair of holes to enable the threading of the positive and negative wires, when ready.
Stage 3. Keeping on the straight.
Taking care, measure and cut the pegboard as straight as you possibly can, as this needs to fit inside of the plywood.
Stage 4. Your now about to become an artist!
With either a roller or a paintbrush, paint on a coating of the UV protector sealer to the plywood and the pegboard on both of the surfaces. Allow to dry and give another coat, again to both the surfaces.
Stage 5. Testing your joinery skills.
Once your satisfied that the sealant coating is completely dry, attach the plywood and the pegboard together with the use of screw nails.
Stage 6. Joining things up.
The flux pen is used when attaching the tabbing to the solar cells and the bus wires etc, it can be a bit sticky which helps to hold wires in place ready for soldering. A couple of plastic clips can be useful to hold the wires onto components to help when soldering.
Stage 7. Testing your maths.
Your solar cells should be placed onto the pegboard in rows of 4, with 9 in each row, making a total of 36 cells. Check your joined up cells are giving a reading and that they are joined up OK.
Stage 8. Creating connections.
In order to make the positive and negative connections required, take the copper cored red and black wire and solder them to the bus wire. Thread these through holes previously drilled into your plywood.
Stage 9. Sealing it up.
Seal the solar panel by placing the plexiglass onto your plywood frame and create a tight seal, using the silicon sealant squeezed through the caulk gun.
Stage 10. Drive in the screws.
Use screws driven through pre-drilled holes in the plexiglass, to attach it to the plywood. Give it a day or so, to let the silicon dry up.
Stage 11. Getting connected.
Now take the red (positive) and the black (negative) connectors and hook them up to your charge controller. This in turn is linked to a deep cycle battery.
Stage 12. Dc to AC.
To convert your current from DC to AC, you will need to connect up your deep cycle battery leads to the inverter.
You are now the proud owner of a dIY solar panel and well you should be. There are more advanced methods of building a panel, using pre-built parts and more expensive components which will push the costs up. As this might well be your first attempt, apart from saving you money by making most of it yourself, you will now have a much better understanding of what to expect when you build diy solar panels the next time.
Other resources for learning more about how to build your own solar panels
Below is a video from Youtube that shows how to connect an inverter and running a simple electric drill as an experiment from homemade solar panels.