DIY Solar Power: Reducing Solar Power Cost

Do-it-yourself enthusiasts can greatly cut the cost of solar panel projects by tackling DIY solar power installation themselves. Solar panels are box frames that contain essential solar cells used to convert solar energy into useful electrical energy. Energy from the sun is so abundant in sunny areas, thus making it a viable source of power. Here are some tips on reducing the cost of the entire project.

Find Cheaper Solar Panel Cells

The cost of a cell ranges from $4.00 to $6.00, which makes some homeowners hesitate on using solar energy. Since a project requires at least 36 cells, depending on the required electrical energy to power up a home, you can see how costly it can become. Nonetheless, you can reduce cost by purchasing the cells from auction sites or from retailers that offer promotional prices. According to recent news, the cost of each cell may become significantly lower by 2013, with manufacturers reducing the cost of each cell to around $1.00 each. If you cannot wait until then, better have patience finding sellers that offer lower prices.

Construct The Frame

There are ready made frames available for sale in the market, but you can cut the cost of the project by constructing your own out of extra plywood found in your DIY storage. The box frame will require a depth of 3/4-inch. Hence, for a 36-cell panel, you will need 3/8-inch plywood cut into dimensions of 45 and 3/4-inch by 22 and 3/4-inch length vs. width. Secure the frame with 3/4-inch by 3/4-inch wood around the perimeter of the plywood. You can then use acrylic glass to cover the cells for protection against the weather. You may also find more elaborate descriptions on how to construct the frame and other DIY solar power instructions from various sources over the Internet.

Secure The Cells Into The Frame

Place the cells within the frame face down until the entire area is covered. Connect the cells by soldering them together. It is wise to have a helper to ensure that the cells are carefully glued together without causing damage while they are soldered. Wire the cells by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be very careful about the wiring process to ensure the success of the project. Double check the entire installation and make sure that everything is secured without any loose cells or wires. The wires should be covered and protected from direct sunlight to avoid damage. After the wiring process has been completed, cover the cells with acrylic glass as recommended above.


Using solar panels can reduce the cost of electric bills in your home. In addition, you can also make money by sharing your excess electricity into your electric grid. Understand that the cost of a solar panel project may be high, but the long terms savings you gain significantly reduces the cost of electrical power. However, consider all of the above tips in mind in order to keep the cost of DIY solar power projects at a minimum.

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