In order to make a homemade solar panel, all you need is a box of black construction paper or paint and 2x4s to mount the solar cells. This will work for either a 12V battery system or a 6V battery system.
Equipments you needed
First you must make sure you have all equipment ready. This includes:
- Soldering iron (to solder metal connectors on the ends of the solar cells)
- Soldering wire
- Wire stripper
- Wire cutter
- Multi meter
- Protective gloves, glasses and a mask (to protect yourself from toxic fumes)
- Some solar cells.
Remember: If you want to make a bigger or smaller panel, just change the number of cells you have according to the final voltage required by your battery. In this example we will need two groups of 36V with 5 meter wire between them as there is no metal connector at the ends of the cells.
Wood saw, screwdriver, drill with small bit, flexible wire (insulated copper wire), soldering iron with solder (center), pliers Solder, Wire Cell array (Solar Cells) ,Connectors Lead Acid Batteries or other dc power source like solar cell phone charger.
How to build a solar panel?
Leave enough space in your panel for wiring and cut two holes about an inch in diameter on opposite sides of the box; one hole should be near the top and the other near the bottom of the box.
Cut a piece of plywood to fit inside your box; this will make it sturdier and prevent heat loss in the solar cells. Paint (or cover with black construction paper) on both sides of your panel except for one side where you will mount the solar cells using silicon glue or whatever type of adhesive is appropriate for that type of cell.
Use screws or nails to fasten down your mounted cells and silicone the wire connections together if necessary (silicone will resist higher temperatures better than electrical tape).
Connect your new homemade solar panel to a battery system as shown in many websites, such as this one which describes how to build a 12-volt battery system.
Wire your panel to the battery system then check for any water leaks if you’re using a sealed box. Make sure to use fuses between the solar panel and battery, as well as within the battery itself.
Now, when you are done soldering wires, cut five pieces of 5m length wire and strip both sides about 15 cm. Black will be connect to Negative terminal and red to Positive terminal (black with black, red with red) of battery.
Repeat step to all groups of cells (depending on how many groups of cells you have). Put your solar panel in direct sunlight and connect your battery to the negative wire of the solar panel (black) and positive wire (red) to the battery.
Cost of solar panel
There are several different types of cells to buy, and most good options are either made in the United States, China, or Japan. However, the best cost-to-efficiency option is probably polycrystalline cells. The number of cells you should purchase depends on the amount of energy you’re looking to produce. You can expect to pay about $5/watt for quality solar panels, which means that a 10 watt panel will cost about $50. A 50 watt panel costs about $250, and so on.
Choosing the material
The next step is choosing what type of material to use as your substrate (the base layer). An easy choice would be glass because it’s cheap and readily available everywhere; however, it’s not very efficient. For one, it’s hard to bend glass without cracking (which is why tempered glass exists). To solve this problem, substrates like Plexiglas or fiberglass are used instead, but they’re even worse than ordinary glass. A better choice would be something like plastic film because it can easily stretch and isn’t as fragile; however, there are other factors to consider with plastic film.
Assembling the wires
The final step is assembling the cells together so you have a complete solar panel. There are many ways to do this, including soldering or welding them directly together by hand or through an automated machine. This usually takes about 30 minutes per small 1-10 watt panel. Alternatively you can just solder on some electrical wires instead of welding the cells together directly.
There are also companies that create solar panels for you and just sell them as a whole unit instead of as individual cells. If you’re really willing to splurge, those would be your best option because it’s both cheaper and much easier to find someone else to install them for you than it is to do it yourself.
How much voltage and ampere needed?
The last step is choosing how much voltage and amperage to use for your inverter (if you plan on using one). This decision should take into consideration not only which size panel(s) you’ve decided on but also what items/appliances will be plugged in at the same time, because running too many appliances at once can fry either your panel or inverter (or both). For example, if you want to run a 50W microwave and a 40W light bulb at the same time, you’ll need an inverter with at least 30W output or else they’ll both either shut off or burn out.
It is better for you to test each group of cells using multi meter before soldering them together so that you can figure out which wires are negative and positive, this will save time later when you will be connecting them all together. The whole point of a solar panel is to create an electric current between both metal connectors at either ends of the cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it a good idea to build solar panel?
Yes, it is a good idea to build solar panel. It will save electricity. And give you many more advantages.
- What is the cost of an average solar panel?
The average cost of solar panel is $3400 to $7700.