woensdag 21 januari 2015

Solar Panels - Build Your Own

Solar Panels - Build Your OwnFor decades solar panel technology has been used in the exploration of space. But it is only in recent times that people are beginning to investigate their use as an alternative source of power in the home.

Its not really hard or complicated or expensive to build your own solar panel. Most of the tools you require you probably already have in your garage or workshop. And the few materials you'll need can be obtained from your local hardware store, or a recycling center or even sourced on eBay. You wont need a degree in engineering or be a master craftsman to make a solar panel. All you need is the desire to use your own alternative source of power, and some free time to construct the solar panels that will provide it.

Your first step should be to make a list of the items you will need to build your panel.

This will include the following:
  • a wooden frame
  • blocking diodes
  • some plastic paneling to cover the frame
  • silicone sealant to make it waterproof
  • soldering iron plus some rosin core solder (never use an acid core solder, or acid flux when soldering electrical connections).
  • strong glue
  • a large tin of black paint
  • solar cells that will be joined up together.
Just a note on these cells. It's a good idea to buy solar cells that are already tabbed. Take care here though as there are a lot of inferior solar cells on the market. Don't just go for the cheapest ones you can find or your results may be disappointing. Just make sure that you buy sufficient cells for the power you expect to generate from the unit. Now with all your materials and your plans in hand you can proceed to build your solar panel.

The first step, and most effective way, is to glue your cells onto a panel in a grid of 36, (6X6). You then join your tabs making sure that you install blocking diodes so the electricity flows in one direction only.

Your next step in to attach your cells to a backing board and fix this inside a well insulated box frame that you have already painted with your black paint.

You then take one of your plastic panels and screw it down making a lid for the box. Your last step is to make the whole unit waterproof by sealing it with silicone sealant. And there you have it, your own solar panel.

Now you need to connect your solar panel to one or more storage batteries so you can store your energy to be used on cloudy days and at night. It would be a good move to call in a qualified electrician at this stage to either do the installation, or at least to check over your work.

The final stage is the mounting of your unit on your roof. For maximum efficiency you should mount your solar panels on a south-facing roof where they will catch the sun throughout the whole day. But make sure there are no trees or buildings that could cause shading at any time.

You will also need to insulate all your wiring and the back of the box as well. This will minimize the chances of energy loss from the unit.

It's good to remember that by building your own solar panels you are:
  • Tapping into a source of renewable energy

  • A source that is free to use now and always will be (unless the utility companies find a way to charge you for it.)

  • A source of power that is clean and poses no threat to our environment.

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

About the Author
For detailed plans and other information regarding building your own pro-quality solar panel visit
DIY Solar Panels

Mark Freeman is a Green Power enthusiast. You can read more of his articles at Green Energy Solutions

Article Source: Solar Panels - Build Your Own

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