Homemade Solar Panels

in Solar-panel

The Internet has lots of do-it-yourself (DIY) forums, websites, and electronic books on the subject of homemade solar panels.With all of this info, you'd think that almost everyone would have solar panels on their residence, in their backyards, or even on top of their cars by now.  

However, people are uncertain since they are not convinced if they have the right tools plus the basic skills required to make their own solar panels.  In addition, many DIY solar panels can end up costing as much as pre-made, store bought ones when it is all said and done and it's apparent why do-it-yourself panels aren't that popular.

The great news is that it's simpler than majority of people think. In fact getting past the initial hurdle of wondering if you can do it is actually the toughest part. Homemade solar panels can be a enjoyable and rewarding do-it-yourself project for the whole family as well.

Solar panels consist of three major divisions: solar cells, a container, and electronics like wiring and control units.

Of those 3 divisions, the most complicated division is the box or container, not the cells or wiring.The cells only work in a single path – sunlight strikes them on one surface and power is created.   Most solar systems are direct current so the wiring is rather simple.No electronics knowledge is necessary because most of the controllers, inverters, pre-made

However, the boxes have to be clear on one side , must be weather proof, reasonably shock proof, and light enough that they are easily handled for transporting, moving and mounting.~ The boxes must also have holes for wires to exit, a way for any person to open them again to service the solar cells should they need it, etc.  Usually, when something on a solar system fails, it's the panel boxes and not the cells themselves that have the problem.

So building or purchasing a tough, well-bulit boxes is the main concern.  Light Steel, aluminum and plastics are the most common supplies utilized to create the boxes.  Clear plastic or glass are most often the casing for the top is also most common.  

When getting ready-made solar panels, the cells are usually the most expensive component.  When making your own solar panels, however, you will probably discover that the boxes were the most expensive part.  Once built, test them carefully for weatherproofing (use a garden hose) before setting up the solar cells.

Solar cells can be purchased in ready-made panels, wired in a series, or they can be obtained separately and wired in a series.  Most DIY panel builders will buy individual cells, as they are often low-cost and effortless to obtain.  Lots of online outlets sell stained, damaged, or otherwise imperfect solar cells at a steep discount.  Those with some knowledge of the cells can buy these and often repair them or make them functional for their project.  If you do not have that kind of expertise, you are better off getting new cells that have a warranty and which are compatible with each another so you can easily connect them together to string a series.

Most often, they will be purchased in "bricks."  These are series of pre-wired cells that can be linked, in turn, with other bricks to make more.  They are commonly sold in voltage quantities, so a typical brick might have 1/2 volt (V), a full V, or some other variation.  As an example: to charge a car battery (12V), you will need between 16 and 18V.  Remember that the voltage measurement for your brick is it's maximum production.  In most of the U.S., you can expect to obtain 50-75% efficiency from a solar panel.  Remember that when building your series.

Other factors to consider include how to wire in series and how to add voltages to estimate totals when doing so.  Soldering skills are necessary for building panels, but are not tough to learn.  Get some inexpensive electronics at a hobby and attempt wiring them together or joining them – such as toys like R/C car and make sounds (talking teddy bear).  This cheap practice will pay off when dealing with higher-cost cells later.

Homemade solar panels should be handled with care while putting them together with the other tools. Leave plenty of room, after assembly, between cells, the box itself, etc. so that you may easily get in to remove and change a brick or fix a connection if needed.

To know more about solar panels, visit Solar Panel Kit


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Eric Moore has 1 articles online

Eric Moore became interested in renewable energy after building an electric powered bike. Shortly after he began riding the bike to work, he thought, why not recharge the bike's batteries with solar power and commute to work completely free and totally pollution free. He then created a website to share his experience and knowledge with others.

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Homemade Solar Panels

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This article was published on 2010/09/12