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Homemade Solar Panels


One can find
two sorts of solar kits online that relate to home energy systems. (There are also other solar kits for completely different devices.) First, there is the home energy system kit, which contains solar panels, mounting devices, and the electrical hardware needed to put together a home energy system. Using a home electrical kit can save the installation cost portion of the price of such a system, but is not the same as making your own solar panels, since the panels come ready-made as part of the kit.

The other, which has recently begun being marketed as interest in making your own solar panels has widened, is a kit for building a solar panel itself. The kit contains solar cells, a frame, and other equipment necessary to put together the panel. However, the savings from using such a kit compared to using a factory-made solar panel are not great. You can save more by making your own solar panels from scratch, especially if you search for solar cells with cosmetic factory defects, which sell for a great deal less than picture-perfect solar cells.

Homemade Solar Panels From Scratch

To make your own solar panels, you'll need certain tools and equipment. These include basic woodworking tools for shaping the frame: a saw, screwdriver, power drill, sandpaper, screws. You will also need a soldering iron and some fine-grade solder to connect the solar cells together and complete the wiring of your solar panel. You may already have a lot of these tools, of course. Others you will need to buy.

You will also need the components of the solar panel. The main component is the solar cells, each of which produces just a bit less than a watt of power. That means that if you want to match the output of factory-assembled solar panels, which is a good idea although not absolutely necessary, you will need about 225 solar cells per solar penal. A complete home energy system, depending on the energy needs of your home, will probably take around 2,000 solar cells. It is however perfectly feasible to install a partial, on-grid system that makes use of net metering. While this will not completely eliminate your electric bill, it will substantially reduce it. The partial system can be expanded to a complete one later on simply by adding more solar panels.

As noted above, the cheapest way to buy solar cells is to find cosmetically flawed cells. Manufacturers sell these at a discount because they can't be used in commercial solar panels, but they're perfectly fine for a home use as the flaws don't affect their energy output or longevity. It just makes them not as pretty. You will need to contact the manufacturers directly in most cases, although discount solar panels are sometimes found on line at eBay and Amazon.

You also require the frames to house the solar cells, plus all of the wiring, mounting racks, connectors, and the electrical equipment necessary to install a grid-tie system or an off-grid system, depending on which way you want to go (the latter is more expensive but allows complete independence from the utility). There's no denying that making your own solar panels is a fair amount of work, but it can result in substantial cost savings.

Plans For Solar Panels

You can find plans for do-it-yourself solar panels on line. You can also find tutorials for the purpose on YouTube. Many quite good plans are available for free. Others are offered for a small payment. All you really need to do is do a search for "plans for solar panels" and you'll see quite a few items pop up. Search on YouTube for "solar panel tutorial" and you'll find video instructions for how to make your own solar panel. It might be a good idea to watch a few of these videos to get an idea of what's involved before you make any purchases for the purpose.

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A home solar energy system can go a long way towards cutting your energy costs. This makes a solar system pretty attractive to homeowners. What's more, the cost of solar energy is getting lower and lower as the technology improves, and solar energy is already cost-competitive with many other forms of energy production.

A home solar system would be even cheaper if you could make the solar panels themselves, as well as assembling the system from completed panels. Is that possible? Yes! Now, it's not generally feasible to home-manufacture the individual solar cells, but the panels can be assembled from factory-made solar cells and those can be acquired quite cheaply. As the solar panels are the most expensive component of a home solar system by far, making them yourself can cut a lot of the cost.

Homemade Solar Panels