As you probably already know it can be very expensive to go out and buy solar panels. But it is far cheaper to make your own solar panel. You don’t need any special skills. All you need are several common tools and some easy to source materials. You can make your own solar panel that produces similar power levels to that of a commercial panel for a fraction of the price.
All a solar panel is a box that holds an array of solar cells. Solar cells are small and only produce a small amount of electricity each. In order to produce a worthwhile amount of electricity they must connected in an array to make your own solar panel. You will need to buy the solar cells but you can get them much cheaper if you buy them damaged or blemished. Have a look on eBay to get an idea of the prices people are selling them for. The little difference a blemished solar cell makes isn’t really an issue when they can be found so cheaply.
You will need about 36 of these solar cells to make your own solar panel that produces about 18v of electricity. Obviously you are going to need several solar panels in order to produce enough electricity to power your home. Solar cells come in different sizes and will therefore determine the size of the panel and how much electricity the panel will produce.
Once you have assembled the solar panels into an array they will need to be mounted in box to shield them from the elements. The box will be made out of wood with a plexiglass front. You can have the wood and glass cut to the sizes that you require when your purchase the materials from your hardware store. By far the most expensive component you will need to make your own solar panel are the solar cells. But you can expect to be able to make your own solar panel for around $100. Check the prices of solar cells on eBay to get a better idea. You will also need storage batteries to store the electricity until it needs to be used.
Other than that all you will need are various screws, copper wire and some electrical plugs to connect everything together. That’s just a brief overview of what you need to make your own solar panel. However you are going to need to follow some kind of plan. The best thing to do is get hold of one of the instructional guides that will provide a proven solar panel design with full instruction on how to assemble and install it. For this purpose the Earth4Energy guide to making your own solar panels is highly recommended.