How to Build a Solar Panel
The increasing demand for energy and its consequential soaring costs continues to be a growing issue.
This usage is at the heart of efforts to “go green,” and to find and use alternative energy sources.
Understanding how to build a solar panel may be the key to putting a stop to escalating energy usage and costs.
DETERMINE SIZE OF SOLAR PANELS NEEDED AND PURCHASE
The first step in learning how to build a
solar panel is to determine how much you need. Once you decide what you want to power, take advantage of
several online calculators to determine the total wattage you will need to achieve to power your items. You can
then determine the number and size of solar panels needed and the individual wattage required.
OBTAIN THE RIGHT PARTS AND TOOLS
Be sure to have the following on hand:
TOOLS: Saw, soldering iron gun, wire cutters, paint brush, screw driver, drill, Plexiglas cutter, Rosin
flux pen, calking gun
PARTS: Solar cells, Plexiglas, tin wire, plywood, silicone caulk, solder, UV-ray protective varnish, wood
OPTIMIZE INSTALLATION ORIENTATION
The placement of your panels will be determined by where you live. In the northern hemisphere, you should
configure and install your solar panels to face south to allow for capture of the most amount of sunlight per day.
Face them true north if you are in the southern hemisphere. Also, this would be a good time to plan for the angle
tilt from the horizontal which will also be based on your location. Be sure to research your optimal angle
according to where you live.
ASSEMBLE YOUR SOLAR CELLS
Cut your plywood to a size that will accommodate the number of solar cells needed for each panel. The most
common shape for solar panel assembly is a rectangle; however, choose the shape that will accommodate your
Once assembled, the UV-ray varnish should be applied to the plywood to allow for protection against damage and
deterioration from UV rays.
To ensure the good adhesion of your tab ribbons to the solar cells, use the Rosin flux pen to apply flux to the
bus strips. This step will ensure that your wiring will be appropriately connected.
Once this is done, you can connect the solar panels together using silicon caulking to attach them to the
plywood. Drill two holes in your plywood and pull through them the two wires that hang from the solar cells. Check
the holes for any gaps and, if present, seal with silicon.
CREATE A PLEXIGLAS FRAME
Construct a frame that will be used to hold a Plexiglas cover over your solar cells. Use wood screws to attach
the frame to the plywood. To ensure that your structure is water resistant, use silicon to seal the attachment.
You will also need to use screws to attach the Plexiglas to the frame. To prevent cracking of the Plexiglas,
drill the screw holes before assembling. Next, firmly affix the Plexiglas to the frame with silicon. Follow up with
the screws for secure attachment.
Your solar panel assembly is complete. However, before you finish, be sure to inspect your work for any large or
small gaps that can allow moisture buildup inside your structure. To prevent this, seal any holes with silicon.
You will also need to allow for air in the panel to prevent moisture buildup. To do this, drill a small hole
near the bottom of the panel, being sure to steer away from the wiring. Once you have completed this step, you have
successfully built a solar panel. You might also want to check out this article on home solar panels installation for more details.
Check out Earth 4 Energy here: http://diygreenenergyforhomes.com/e4esolar.html