How to Build a Solar Panel

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Solar panels have helped in the investigation of space for decades, and many people never realized how this complicated technology can be simplified to make solar panels for powering the average home’s needs for electricity.

Learning how to build a solar panel will require many of the tools and resources of the garage, and a few materials that can be sourced from recycling centers or eBay. No-one has to have an engineering degree or masters in workshop, just the desire to make an alternative power source, a few dollars, and a couple of days of free time.

Make a list of materials first and set out to source them:
– Wooden boxing
– Plastic paneling
– Black paint
– Waterproof sealant such as silicone
– Solder
– Glue
– Wiring
– And last but not least, the cells that need to be joined together. Select the ones that have tabs already and don’t go for the cheapest. The number needed will depend on how much power is expected to be generated, and make an allowance for the fact that the best DIY systems usually only deliver 80 per cent of the output claimed.

At this stage, learning how to build a solar panel is about as easy as doing a jigsaw. Glue the cells in series of 36, [6×6] is the most effective, and join the tabs to ensure that the flow of electricity moves one way only. Place this on a backing board and fix inside a box that is well insulated. Paint it black and cover the face with a plastic panel screwed down and sealed with the silicone.

The next step is to connect your solar panel to a storage battery or series of these, to release the energy over time when the sun is clouded or during night. Most people will opt to consult an electrician at this stage. The whole process will take a weekend at most, and is neither back
breaking, nor too taxing on the brain.

Mounting the whole system on a roof will require an area of a few feet that is not shaded by trees or other buildings. They do have to face in a southerly direction to maximize the sun’s rays.

Wiring will need to be insulated and it is best to insulate the back of the mounted box as well, to avoid heat energy loss. Understanding how to build a solar panel and that it is simple, should not disguise the fact that these are serious contributors to the home’s energy demands.

In an era where non renewable energy is seeing wilderness areas under threat from mining activity, and the oceans polluted with spilled oil, any attempt to provide a workable alternative must be welcomed.

Solar power is just one of the options that is environmentally neutral in its operation. When considering how to build a solar panel, everyone should have in the back of their mind that it is not just about getting cheaper power. The future well being of generations to come may very well depend on initiatives such as this being taken now.

The sun is always going to be there for the likely existence of mankind, and it is never going to be charged for by a utility company. How to build a solar panel can be a fun project for the whole family to assist in, and a real supply of alternative energy for the environmentally conscious.

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