The promise of cheaper and greener energy lures many folks -- amateurs and experts alike -- to roll up their sleeves and build their own solar power generator.
In many people's mind, homemade photovoltaic panels are often perceived as cheap, fragile or makeshift. This is understandable. Without big brand names behind our handicraft, do-it-yourself solar panels are often misunderstood as temporary setups that may break before the week is over.
What people fail to notice is that photovoltaic cells found inside our solar panels are actually reliable units of solar generators manufactured by corporations that adopt world-class production processes.
The DIY hobbyist simply puts different components together so they form a system that generates enough electrical power to run electrical appliances. The reliability of the system lies largely on the photovoltaic cells.
Although it requires a little knowledge on how to use simple tools and constructing simple electrical circuits, building a homemade solar panel is really one of the simplest DIY projects around.
To build a DIY solar panel, the hobbyist builds a shallow, wooden box that provides structural support to house all the necessary components. Then a masonite or acrylic substrate is prepared to attach the solar cells on before they are all placed at the base of the shallow box. Finally, he use a piece of glass or plexiglass to cover the box. This protects the components from outdoor elements such as precipitation and snow. When necessary, direct current is converted to alternating current -- using an inverter -- to supply household appliances with the correct type of power.
Those of us who aspire to build a simple homemade solar panel can do so within a weekend even if we have no prior experience making one. This is provided we have basic DIY skills to fabricate simple parts as described above to house the components.
There are, however, a few pitfalls that can cause our homemade solar panel project to come to a screeching halt. Therefore it is useful to get advice and supervision from other hobbyists who are more experienced. Alternatively, you can also get a reliable guide to show you the steps and pitfalls to building homemade solar panels.
DIY Solar Panels and Windmills Building Guides
Earth 4 Energy - Make your own solar panels or wind turbine. More info here
Home Made Power Plant - There are some other guides for DIY wind and solar generators, but all of those that I've read don't get into the same details. More info here