DIY solar panels

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DIY Solar Panels

Solar energy is one of cleanest sources of power available to humanity. There are two main types of solar power: photovoltaic (PV) power, when sun energy is converted into electricity through solar panels, and solar thermal power, when the sun is used for heating. For those looking to produce PV power, DIY solar panels can offer a cheaper alternative. DIY solar panels are not exactly the most difficult devices to build at home, but, like everything that involves tools, it requires a certain amount of aptitude, as well as equipment and materials such as a saw, drill, silicone caulk, glue, wire cutters and strippers, soldering iron, solder and solar cells.

Solar cells have to be bought and usually they are 3x6 in size and generate Ĺ volt. DIY solar panels are expected to generate on average 18 volts, therefore they require 36 cells per panel. The next step is to build a container for the cells, which can be made of wood or plastic and designed according to the layout wanted for the solar cells. Peg board will do as extra wood to put into the panel box while Plexiglass can be used as cover.


The next stage consists of wiring work, that is, soldering the cells together into the layout chosen. That is followed by the most delicate stage of the work: attaching the cells, which is done with silicone caulk. The caulk is applied centrally as a tiny dot on the back of the cell.

Finally, drill a hole through the bottom of the container so that wires can come out. Once youíve done that, fill up the whole with caulk to avoid moisture and screw the Plexiglass on top of the container. There are several guides across the web with detailed technical specifications about how to build DIY solar panels. Itís not too complicated and will cost as little as $200. Be sure to check out our solar DIY page.