How to Build a Solar Panel - What to Look Out For
Are you looking for how to build a solar panel information? If you are like the thousands of other do it yourselfers out there, you have realized the tremendous benefits of converting to a solar panel system. Solar energy can reduce electricity prices while at the same time contribute to a sustainable future free from foreign oil dependence. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are becoming extremely affordable. If you have some building skills and a weekend to devote to a solar project, you can easily have a solar panel system built in a couple of days.
There are a few things to consider in building a solar panel;
1. Materials - Do you have all the necessary materials to build a sturdy solar panel system? The materials required to make a solar system are high grade solar cells, tabbing wire, flux pen, and materials to build an enclosure. You will also need an energy storage device such as a battery. If you want to connect the panel to your electrical grid, you will need an inverter that converts AC to DC current that is required to run your appliances. This will ultimately depend on your local utility which may or may not allow you to connect to their grid.
2. Financial Assistance - Are you looking to build your own system or enter into a leasing program? Solar system are becoming more and more affordable however, commercial system can cost you an arm and a leg. Commercial systems can still run you into the tens of thousands. For the DIYer, this price is drastically cut. If you decide you do not even care about owning your own solar system, you can enter into a Power purchase agreement where you install a solar panel system on your roof without owning the system. The company is responsible for maintenance and installation of the system, while you pay a lockedin rate over a 20 year period. The rate will be lower than what you normally pay for electricity but you will not own the system. Many people find that the payback period on buying their own systems is enough cause to buy their own systems.
3. Instructions - Do you have a thorough set of instructions? Detailed instructions are very important if you are looking to build your own panel. There are tons of websites out there that all claim to do the same thing. Very few actually deliver on the promise of high quality detailed instructions.
Solar power is reliable and cheap. Join the thousands of Americans who are now taking advantage of this renewable source of energy. Why wait?
Using commonly accessible tools and materials found at your local hardware store, you can rapidly have a solar panel system up in no time. Here are a few simple steps to creating your own module:
1. Lay the solar cells face down on the plywood in rows of six
2. Solder the solar cells into an array - Use positive and negative poles to make connections between different solar cells. It is best to start from the top left, moving left to right until you reach the bottom left cell, touching each soldering point. Be careful not to damage any cells and leave enough excess wire to attach a blocking diode and electrical jack.
3. Test the array with a volt meter to make sure that the cells give off enough voltage.
4. Place a dab of heat resistant adhesive on the back of each solar cell using a flux pen. Set the pegboard directly on top of the cells. Carefully flip the setup over so that the cells are resting on the pegboard.
5. Cut off excess portions of the pegboard.
Assembling the Panel
1. Create a perimeter around the plywood using the ¾ inch by ¾ inch lumber
2. Carefully place your pegboard with the cells on it into the assembly
3. Cut an extra notch in the frame so that you can pass the extra wire through it.
4. Solder the blocking diode and electrical jack to the excess wire that is sticking out. Be consistent with the wiring making sure that the positive connects to the positive on the blocking diode and electrical jack.
5. Retest the array before adding the jack.
6. Cover the entire setup with Plexiglass. Secure the Plexiglass to the frame and seal all the edges with silicone caulk.
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