As the price of electricity from the utilities rises and the cost of solar cells and solar panels drops, solar power for the home is becoming more and more attractive. But the cost of a fully-
You can find some very decent guides on line to making your own solar panels and pay about $50 for the information. These are good step-
First of all, you need
First of all, you needsolar cells. What’s the difference between a solar cell and a solar panel? A solar cell is a single wafer of silicon made to receive sunlight and convert it into electricity. A solar panel is made of multiple solar cells linked together to produce a usable amount of electric current.
So, in order to make your own solar panels, you need to have solar cells. Since you are going to be using a lot of them, the best approach is to buy them in bulk from a reliable manufacturer. An even better tip is to look for factory seconds: blemished or cosmetically damaged solar cells. These still work fine, but because they have blemishes and are not as nice to look at as perfect cells, they can be bought at a discount. Bear in mind that solar cells are wafer-
You will also need a frame to mount the solar panels on or materials to make the frame, adhesive for attaching them, a soldering iron and solder to wire them together, and wiring, tabs, and clamps to complete the assembly. The frame is simply a shallow box that doesn’t block sunlight; three-
Once you have all the materials together and the frame is assembled, the next step is to attach the solar cells to the frame with
adhesive. Adhesives designed for the purpose are easily available, or you can use clear silicone caulk.
Don’t apply adhesive to the entire surface of the frame. Just dab a little to where the center of each solar cell will lie. You want to make sure that your solar cells have room to expand, contract, and flex with changes in temperature. Finally, you will need to connect the solar cells in series (NOT parallel!) using a low-
There’s more to building a solar power system than just the solar cells, of course.
You will also need a way to attach the panels to the roof, and some electrical equipment like an inverter/regulator and either a storage battery or a device to allow for net metering with your utility (or both).
But the heart of any solar system and the most expensive material component is the solar panel, so it’s worth spending some time on how to make your own.