Solar Panels UK

Solar Panels DIY

Introduction to Solar Panels DIY

The decrease of energy resources and global warming are prompting more and more people into finding inexhaustible power sources for reducing the CO2 releases and protecting the environment. Solar energy systems appeal for achieving this exact task, yet the costs of such technologies may be far greater for some people, the expenses associated with purchasing solar panels rising up to several thousands of pounds. This is why skilful homeowners often attempt building their own solar panels, and since many of them are successful at it, solar panels DIY guides have spread all over the internet.

Making your own solar panel is not as difficult as it seems, this task requiring some basic knowledge, the right tools and motivation in order to complete the project and draw the advantages from it. Before you attempt at creating a solar panel all by yourself, make sure you have enough free time to finalise the task as such an endeavour requires time and patience in order to be properly completed.

Solar Panels DIY Utensils

Building a solar panel requires a few basic tools; some of them you should already have around the house, whilst the other ones can be purchased from your local hardware store. The creation of the wood container will require the use of a saw, drill and screwdriver, whilst the wiring must be done with wire cutters, wire strippers, a soldering iron and a solder. For other stages of the building process, make sure you have silicone caulk and wood glue.

Acquiring Solar Cells

Solar panels are essentially made from solar cells placed in some kind of a container. The best way to start your solar panels DIY project is to order online a bunch of solar cells or win them at a typical e-bay auction. These cells usually come in lots of 36, 100 or 108, so do not purchase 100 cell lots if you require a 36 volt panel; use a 108 cell lot to produce 3 x 36 cell panels. Try to purchase pre-tabbed cells that come with extra tabbing, solder and flux.

Making the Container

A container is needed to hold the solar cells, and can be built using a variety of materials, the easiest one to work with being wood or cheap fibreboard. Find a clear cover for the box container such as Plexiglas or Lexan, and make sure you drill a hole to provide the wires room for exiting the box.

The Cells Wiring Process

After gluing the cells in place, you need to wire all 36 cells together in a serial connection so that they will provide the 18 volts they’re meant to generate. Use pre-tabbed cells to make this stage a lot easier; otherwise, you will have to solder on tabs before you attempt to glue down the cells.

The Solar Cells Attachment

Attaching the cells has to be done by applying silicone caulk to the middle of the back of every cell. Lay out all the solar cells, glue them in place and allow the caulk to dry off.

Final Stage

After drilling the hole in the container and drawing the wires through it, cover the extra space with caulk to avoid letting moisture in. Screw the Plexiglas on top of the container and solder a connector onto the end of the wires.

In the end, bring the panel outside in the sun and hook up a voltmeter to the panel to see what kind of voltage you get. If it reads the number of volts you hoped for, then your solar panels DIY project has been successful.

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