Welcome to DIY Solar Panels, we’re going to teach you some very helpful hints and tips that can assist you to construct a small solar panel system that will power up your gadgets such as laptop computers and also garden equipment for example: water sprinklers, automatic gate openers and the like. For the full set of plans to set up your own home power supply using diy solar panels and wind power please download the DIY Solar Panel and Wind Turbine Guide
How To Build A Solar Panel
We’re going to take a look at all the individual materials you need to construct your Solar Panel project. You’ll see all the steps on how all these parts fit together to form a complete system. Dependant on what you will use your Solar Panel for will require some modifications to your overall design. We’ll cover what changes are required as we go along to suit what design you have in mind. Then you’ll uncover ways to enhance your solar panel system, then you’ll have a real winner of which you can expand upon.
Prior to discussing the components and materials you require to build a solar panel, let me say this: you do not need any prior building or engineering experience of any kind to build a real working and professionally designed solar panel system.
Some sort of basic soldering experience is all you’ll need. Mind you, this skill can be learnt very quickly within 5 minutes. You’ll also need to have an idea in your mind as to what electrical device you are going to power up using your solar panel.
If DIY isn’t one of your key strengths you can always invest in ready-made solar panels which actually come complete with the mounting brackets already attached. You then simply connect the electrical wiring. Naturally this is the more expensive option.
Now, what materials do we need?
1. Solar Cells
3. Jones Plug
4. Silicone Caulk
5. Super glue and screws
Solar Cells. You can pick up new cells readily from eBay and you can purchase slightly damaged ones too. It all depends on your budget and technical experience. However I must say that broken solar cells are easy to put together. My suggestion is to spend a little more on new cells if you’re not that confident.
Plywood. No matter what the size of your project is you will need 3/8” thick plywood. Here’s a tip if you’re not skilled in woodworking: purchase a sturdy photo frame, wood or metallic, and attach the plywood to the back of it. That will give you a solar panel frame which is strong and will save you time and effort. Plywood is easily obtained from any hardware store and can even be cut to length.
Jones Plug. This is simply a two-pin plug that attaches to the end of the wires that come out from the solar panel which you can plug into your electrical system. These are available at electrical retailers or even eBay as well.
Silicone. We need to ensure our solar panel is weather-proof just like we waterproof our kitchen sinks and bathtubs. You can pick silicone caulk up at any hardware store.
Super glue and screws. A tip is to use some super glue to hold some pieces down prior to screwing them down into position. Again, your local hardware store sells screws and super glue.
Wires. It is recommended to use a twisted pair of wires with different colours so you can ensure you don’t mix up the polarity as you solder the wires together.
Paint. UV protected paint is vital so that it can protect your solar panel frame from the harmful effects of UV radiation out in the open.
Diode. The Diode component allows electricity to flow only in one direction. It’s needed so that your battery doesn’t drain into the solar panel when it is overcast or at night time.
Plexiglass. This is much easier to handle rather than glass. It provides the necessary protective cover over your solar panel.
Battery. The use of a good quality battery is a very important part of the solar energy system. It provides power to your electrical device when the output from your solar panel is insufficient due to cloud or during the night.
There you have it, these are all the components you require to piece together your own solar panel at home which can produce enough power for any small electrical application.