How To Make A Solar Panel From Scratch At Home

With the rising price of power in today’s world, many people are turning to various methods for saving energy. One of the most popular energy conserving methods is the solar panel. However, even though solar panel technology is less expensive than it was in the past, installing solar panels in your home can still be incredibly expensive. If you’ve wondered how to make a solar panel, this is something you should read.

If you’ve looked into installing solar panels, you are aware that even one solar panel can cost upwards of $40,000, and the average home requires 25 solar panels. As you can see, that would get very expensive very fast.

However, a homemade solar power generator costs much less, at an average of around $150-200 per solar panel, depending on how big they are and how much energy you want to generate. This still might seem pretty expensive – after all, if you build 25 solar panels at 200 dollars apiece, that’s 5,000 dollars.

But that is one eighth of the price of just one solar panel if you were to buy it instead of making it yourself. So, if you learn how to make a solar panel you can definitely save money if you want to go green. And don’t worry, it’s fairly easy.
Materials Needed to Make a Solar Panel

As with any other project that you might build, the first step is to assemble your list of materials. There are a number of different places, including Amazon, that sell “How to make a solar panel” kits that include all of the necessary materials.

The only trick with these is to make sure that they are the right quantities for the size of solar panel build that you want to make. Sometimes these kits can be more expensive as well, because they’re providing everything together for you.

However, if you aren’t as familiar with the list of materials needed, spending a few extra bucks to get everything together in one convenient place might be worth it, rather than trying to search for days and buy everything separately.

The basic materials that you will need to make a solar panel include the following:

  • Solar Cells
  • Plywood
  • Jones Plug
  • Silicone Caulk
  • Super glue and screws
  • Diode
  • Plexiglass
  • Tabbing wires – twisted pair of red and black or other opposing colors is best
  • Paint – preferably with UV protection
  • Battery
  • Solder

Some of these materials you might already have out in your garage, depending on if you do a lot of projects around the house. Other materials can be found at the hardware store, an electronics store, or online, such as on Amazon or eBay.

You will also need some basic tools to construct your homemade solar panel.

Basic Tools You Will Need to Make a Solar Panel

  • Saw for cutting
  • Soldering iron gun
  • Paint brush
  • Rosin flux pen
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulking gun
  • Volt meter
  • Plexiglass cutters
  • Drill

Most of the tools that this project requires are basic and if you don’t already have them, you can probably borrow one from a friend or find it at your local hardware store.

How to make the solar panel

  1. Now that you have your materials assembled to build solar panels, you will need to decide how much power you need from your solar panel. That will determine how many solar cells you need, and how big the solar panel needs to be to accommodate the cells. Once you have figured out the size dimensions, you can get started and you will find making a solar power generator easy to do.
  2. Cut your plywood to fit the size of solar panel that you need. You can adjust the solar panel to be either a rectangle or a square box, depending on what fits best with where you want it to go. Keep in mind that it will be a very shallow box.
  3. Use your screws and glue to put your box together.
  4. Once your plywood box is complete, grab your paintbrush and paint the plywood box on both the front and the back with the UV protection paint or varnish.
  5. While the paint is drying, get out your solar cells and your Rosin flux pen.
  6. Plug in your soldering gun, so that it can start heating up.
  7. Lay your solar cells out how you want them to be, whether closer together or farther apart.
    *You will need to apply the rosin flux pen to the bus strips on your solar cells to make sure that your tab ribbons will adhere to the solar cells properly and won’t come off. Start out with just two at a time.
  8. Turn two cells upside down, the distance apart that you want them to be, and apply the flux.
  9. Lay the solder tabs from the front of one cell across the solder points on the back of the second cell. Solder them together.
  10. Continue adding solder cells until they are all soldered together.
    *Don’t try to flux too many cells at a time, or the flux will dry and you will have to reapply it.
    *Don’t push too hard with the soldering iron, or you might accidentally break the solar cells, which are rather delicate.
  11. Using as little silicon as possible, fix your solar cells to your plywood box.
  12. You will have two unattached wires hanging from your solar cells – drill two holes in the plywood box and feed the wires through them.
  13. Seal any gaps in the holes with silicon.
  14. Make a plywood frame for your box and adhere it to the plywood box with more silicon and wood screws.
  15. Drill screw holes into the Plexiglas where you will secure it to the frame.
  16. Secure the Plexiglas to your frame with silicon and screws.
  17. Inspect your solar panel for gaps that could allow moisture to come in and seal them with silicon.
  18. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the panel, away from all of the wiring. This will let air in to the panel and keep moisture from building up.

Congratulations! You now know how to make a solar panel!

If you need additional info, there are many easy tutorials and guides available on Google and YouTube on making homemade solar panels.

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