Building Do It Yourself (DIY) panels is far more cost-efficient than buying pre-manufactured ones in order to convert the sun’s energy into solar electricity. Costs can be kept to a minimum by using materials which you may already have at home. There are several discounts sites, such as ebay, which sell quality solar cells, (the essential component), for discounted prices.
The goal is to build a solar panel which will produce an electric readout of somewhere between 18 to 20 volts after it has been exposed to the sun all day. This can be checked using a voltmeter. If this charge has been accomplished, the DYI solar panel is a success and can be satisfactorily connected it to a CD player or an electric guitar, etc. and you’ll be able to use them with solar electricity.
The best way to begin would be to follow the instructions laid out in a DIY guide. There are many good ones available with comprehensive information and instructions. Most good guidebooks will come with videos. With proper instructions, the right tools and materials, it is possible to build a straight forward, but very efficient solar panel within a day or two that can provide you with the solar electricity you need.
Tools such as saws, drills, voltmeters, screwdrivers, silicone caulking, wiring and wire cutters are essential. Wood is probably the most economic material to use as a container. A flat piece of plywood, for instance, will be needed for the backing in addition to four pieces of 1″x1″ to constitute the perimeter to hold the cells securely in place.
Plexiglass is the best material to use for the covering. All joints of the container, (top, bottom and sides), plus the holes drilled for the outlet connections ought to be well-sealed with caulking to prevent moisture from entering the finished product and penetrating the cells.
The standard DIY solar panel consists of 36 solar cells wired in series. This will generate the output of electricity required to run a small appliance. It is best to buy solar cells which are already “tabbed” with conductive “tabs” to which the connecting wires are soldered. These might be slightly more costly but will facilitate the production process.
Once all of the cells have been wired together and placed snugly into the frame, they can be glued to the backboard and fully covered with a piece of plexiglass. Most people will connect the solar panel to a battery. This small step will allow all the power collected from the panel to be used after the sun goes down.
The power will be retained in the battery if a diode is connected to the output wires from the panel to the battery. A diode will stop the power from running back to the solar panel from the battery, allowing solar electricity to be provided after sundown as well as during the daytime. When all is said and done, a DIY solar panel is an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly means of converting the sun’s energy into solar electricity.