If you want to generate renewable power for your home Solar power is most likely to be your best option. Professionally installed systems may be effective but will cost upwards of $ 2000 for even modest systems. Industrious homeowners can save thousands of dollars by building their own solar panels & systems using parts sourced cheaply. Read on to find out more.
Here is an overview in 5 steps of what you need to accomplish:
Step 1. Understand Your Solar Power System
Your solar panels are a key part of the system but you will need to understand how they will deliver electricity to your household appliances. Here are the key components:
Solar Panel: Consisting of solar cells converts sunlight into direct current (DC).
Charge controller: Connects solar panel to a 12V battery to store generated energy.
Battery: Stores energy generated from Solar Panel.
Inverter: Converts DC battery output to AC (alternating current) to power your appliances.
Household Loads: Powered appliances such as TV, Lights, Toaster etc.
Step 2. Obtain the parts to build your solar panel
Next you need to obtain the tools and components required to build your panel – you may already own some of these.
Solar Cells: You can buy damaged/intact solar cells from Ebay very cheaply and repair them if necessary.
Wiring: You will need tabbing wire, a flux pen & soldering iron.
Support: Plywood backing sheet,framing wood,UV Protector,Flexiglass & Silicone Sealant
Testing: Voltmeter – to test the DC output from your cells.
Step 3. Assemble your solar Panel
a. Connect Solar Cells: You will now need to connect your cells in series via the tabs on the back of the cells using the tabbing wire and soldering iron.
b. Integration: Attach cells to plywood backing via silicone sealant. Then attach flexiglass sheet to plywood backing sheet with framing wood. Also apply silcone sealant to gap. The aim is to prevent water entering the system.
Step 4. Connect your Solar Panel to a Battery System
You will have a 2 output wires from your panel: positive(+) & Negative(-). These will need to be wired to your battery via the charge controller.
Step 5. Power Your Household appliances
Your household appliances take alternating current. The energy stored in the battery needs to be converted from DC to AC when connecting your appliances. This is achieved via an inverter. A medium sized homemade system with 1KW output should be able to power your lights, TV, DVD Player & Computer. Your system is scalable so if you wish to power more appliances you can add more solar panels to increase the power output.
Be confident in your abilities! Anyone with average DIY skills can put a solar power system together with a little work and the right information. You will gain satisfaction in your achievement as well as cutting your electricity bill.
We’ve only provided a high level overview on how to build your own solar panels. We recommend you investigate available guides here that give you all the specific details from start to finish and include training videos. You can find the top guides reviewed at our site http://www.myrenewablehome.info/myrenewablehome/articles/homesolarpower_article1.htm. You will then be fully prepared to embark on your solar project!