If you want to know how to make a solar panel than you are not only thinking “green” but you are thinking about cost savings as well. As you probably already know, buying a brand new solar panel can be very expensive.
How easy is it to build your own solar panel?
Well fortunately it can be as easy as following instructions. If you can make brownies you can make a solar panel…. or maybe even if you don’t know how to make brownies=). You can build your first fully operational solar panel in about 1 day and a half. Of course, you might be quicker than me and if you build several of these things you can probably turn them out faster as you go.
What will you need to Build a Solar Panel at Home?
For starters you will need to get some solar cells. Sound expensive? Well the cool thing about this project is you can get solar cells that are broken for dirt cheap, and you can EASILY get them to work again. You can buy some broken solar cells here for cheap.
Then you will need some plywood, or some kind of wood surface to put your solar cells onto. This can be the cheapest stuff you can find, as long as it can hold it’s own weight it should be fine.
Remember, we are doing this to save money so the cheaper the better here.
You will also want to get some plexi-glass of some kind. This will help protect your homemade solar panel and give it many years of use.
Tin tabbing wire should also be on your shopping list as this will be used to connect the different solar cells and also to repair ones that maybe broken.
Get some solder if you don’t already have some. Most of us have a bunch in our basements but the stuff is dirt cheap at the hardware store if you need to pick some up.
Now to hold those solar cells to the plywood you are going to need a kind of silicone glue.
If you want to protect your wood from the burning sun than I also suggest getting some UV protector so that your wood will last longer.
And that’s pretty much all you need other than a volt meter if you want to see how much juice you can get from your homemade solar panels.
Now how to put it all together?
The best instructions I have found for learning how to make a solar panel at home are found at Earth4energy. You will find videos on how to put it all together and a very thorough ebook on other forms of renewable energy you can make right at home. It does a much better job of explaining the whole process than I ever could so I highly recommend getting a copy.