There are a lot of people these days looking at building solar panels at home. Energy costs are rising and unpredictable. Unfortunately, commercial solar panels are expensive and the costs of professional installation make them even less attractive. The answer may be to make the solar cells yourself.
Here’s what you’ll need to invest.
When you start a solar panel project, there are a number of factors in your favor. First, technology has advanced to the point that any person who is motivated and handy can do it. Second, the cost is very attractive compared to the alternatives. In fact, you can build a panel for about $ 200. Third, installation can be easier when you build your own because you control the size and can design the panels to fit where you have space.
If you decide to build at home, your first investment will be a manual that is detailed and clear. In many cases, you get what you pay for. A quick search of the internet will bring up lots of sites with free designs that you could never implement. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars on a well-reviewed instruction manual. If you get one with videos, you’ll have a much easier time. The materials are so inexpensive that a good manual won’t affect your profitability.
Your next cost is building supplies. Your guide should include a parts list with links to online sites where you can purchase what you need. The supplies aren’t nearly as exotic as you might think – plywood, sheets of glass, and a roll of copper wire. In fact, you can find most supplies at your local hardware store. Even the solar or photovoltaic cells are easy to order online or at a local retailer.
When you have your guide and supplies, you’ll need to invest a day or so to assemble a 100-watt panel. I’d give yourself a long weekend if it’s your first time. A 100-watt panel will operate small appliances or a small workshop. Once you have your first panel done, you can build more even quicker and hook them together into a system. Then you’ll be reducing your electric bill and in some cases eliminating it altogether.
Your first investment should be checking out websites that offer good reviews of guides and instructions for building solar panels as well as other products that make green energy easy. On my site, for example, I feature a product that was field tested by 11 complete novices and approved with flying colors.