It’s not that tough to make solar panels at home but it’s not something you can do in 10 minutes either. It’s not like you need to know quantum physics or anything like that. Making your own solar panels really isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Homemade solar panels may not be as efficient as their commercially made counterparts, but they sure are a lot cheaper if you can do some simple handyman work. To build a solar panel you will need some basic materials and a budget of about $150-$200 per solar panel that you want to build. Here is 7 simple steps to make YOUR own solar panels.
Basically, what is a Solar Panel? – Basics of Solar Panels
It’s fundamentally a box that accommodates a lay out of solar cells. Solar cells are the things that do the actual work of turning sunlight into electricity. However, it takes a lot of cells to make a significant amount of power, and they are very fragile, so the individual cells are assembled into panels. The panels hold enough cells to make a useful amount of power and protect the cells from the elements.
7 Simple Steps to Make YOUR Own Solar Panels
- Buy your Solar Cells
- Build your Frame
- Paint and Seal it
- Wire Solar Cells Together
- Mount Solar Cells to Frame
- Connect these Solar Cells
- Mount a protective cover on your Solar Panel
That’s it, Congratulations!!
Does it sound too complex! Yes, you can make your own solar panel at home with easy to follow instructions.
What is the cost of making solar panels? – Less than $200
It is possible to make a homemade solar panel for less than $200. Not too bad. That’s a fraction of what a commercially made solar panel with a comparable power output would cost.
The truth is, you can get it done with less than $150 if you have some existing building material laying around in your garage.
The following is a list of the building material and its approximated cost to build an affordable DIY solar panel.
- Solar Cells (36 pieces) – $67.50
- Misc. Lumber – $16.62
- Jones Plug – $6.08
- Silicone Caulk – $3.95
- Stainless Steel Screws – $3.85
- Blocking Diode – $0.20
- Paint – $0.00 (Existing)
- Plexiglass – $0.00 (Existing)
- Wire – $0.00 (Existing)
If you don’t have some of the material at hand, you may have to spend another $30 – $40 to purchase them from a hardware store.
The end costing is still much less than $150.
Guess what, if you know where and how to find inexpensive building material, you can get the cost even lower!
What will you need for making solar panels 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.
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 its 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 plexiglass 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 then 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.
Build YOUR Own Solar Panels – Don’t you think it is great!
I built my own solar panels. It’s fun. Let me tell you, the upside of DIY solar panel is the same as DIY anything – no paying for labor. It may take more time and it may take more effort, but in the end, you’ve got a solar system for considerably less than the do-little neighbor next door. Right? Maybe.