A DIY solar panel project can be intimidating even for a seasoned DIY skilled person. However with increasing power bills and growing emphasis on renewable energy, everybody wants to install a solar panel in their home to save on their electricity bills. The idea of a cheaper solar panel made at home is highly tempting for those who want to make the shift but are thinking about the high cost of a professional install that can well go up to a few thousand dollars.
So how hard can it be to make your own solar panel at home?
If you merely know to use an electric drill and a screwdriver, is that enough? Or do you need additional skills and tools not available at the local hardware store?
Let’s start by clarifying what a solar panel is — It’ a photovoltaic group of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The electricity a 200 watt solar panel generates can supply power to a few appliances in your house such as two computers or a TV thus reduce your electric bill each month.
There are two approaches to start your DIY project. A semi-DIY approach or a full-DIY approach. In the semi-DIY approach you purchase a solar panel kit assemble it at your home. Usually these kits contain easy-to-follow instructions and other information that you might require while assembling your solar panels. These kits are good for people with little to moderate amount of technical skills. If you are really good at DIY though, you can also buy in all the components and use a “how to make solar panels” guidebook to make your solar panels right from scratch. This is the second — full – DIY approach.
Buy your solar DIY kit and assemble it using the instructions provided inside. You can buy a solar panel kit either locally or online that comes with photovoltaic cells, wiring kits, installing hardware and mounting devices and everything you need to build a fully functional solar panel. Most of these kits are also accompanied by plans and information in both hard print copy or digital form on CD’s or DVD’s. They’re usually quite costly some of these DIY kits cost up to $ 500 or even more. Remember to check with your local authorities and ask for a permit for your setup. (required in the U.S.)
The Full DIY method refers to making solar panels all on your own from start to finish. You start by using raw copper sheeting. Heat it for 30 minutes to form copper oxide on its surface and then cool it and keep it alongside non-oxidized copper sheeting. Add salt-water solution and submerge in a break-proof glass panel. Fix the wiring and solar cells, mount the jacks and your low-voltage solar panel is ready to use! Of course you’ll need at least 6-12 of these lined up if you want to generate enough electricity for an entire house.
There are some excellent guides available online that will help you build solar panels from start to finish. It’s doesn’t take you more than two days to make a solar power system in your own backyard and it shouldn’t cost you more than two hundred dollars for all the components you need.
If you’re tired of high electricity bills discover how thousands of families worldwide use homemade solar panels to power their homes.