How To Build a Solar Panel
Knowing how to build a solar panel allows you to utilize a power supply that will
remain strong for another four billion years – the sun.
The first thing to note about learning how to build a solar panel is to consider whether you live in the
northern or southern hemisphere. This is because, if you live in the northern hemisphere, then your solar panel
should face the south so that it can capture the maximum amount of sunlight each day. However, if the roof of the
structure which you will be installing the solar panels does not face south, or even the north if you are in the
southern hemisphere, you can simply attach the solar panels to poles that have been installed in a location that
If you already posses some fundamental carpentry skills, then constructing your very own home solar panel will
be a relatively easy task. To begin, make sure you have the following tools and parts. If you don’t, you can simply
purchase them at your local hardware store or even on eBay!
- Saw for cutting
- Soldering iron gun
- Paint brush
- Rosin flux pen
- Wire cutters
- Caulking gun
- Volt meter
- Plexiglass cutters
- Plywood sheeting
- Tin wire
- Silicon caulk
- UV-ray protective varnish
- Solar Cells (microcrystal cells cost around $2 a piece)
Firstly, you should determine how much power you need from each of the solar panels that you are about to build.
When purchasing solar cells, do note that 80 of them will normally produce up to 100 watts of electrical power. Use
your volt meter to test the solar cells individually and make a record of the voltage each cell produces, If you
want to charge an 18 volt battery, then you would need a panel with 36 solar cells that produces 0.5 volts
Cut your plywood to the dimensions large enough to fit the number of solar cells that are going to be attached
on each panel. Although the most common shape of solar panels for homes are rectangular, you can build one that is
cut in whatever shape you desire so that it can fit where a rectangular panel cannot.
Once you have cut all your plywood, use a paintbrush to apply the UV-ray protective varnish all over. While
waiting for the varnish to dry, you may wish to start working on the solar cells. Use the Rosin flux pen to apply
flux to the bus strips on the solar cells. This helps to ensure that when you solder your tab ribbons to the solar
cells, they will adhere completely and the wiring will also be connected correctly.
Following that, connect the solar cells to each other. Once all the cells are joined together with as small an
amount of silicon as possible, attach them snugly to the plywood panel that you have cut. Now, there will be two
unconnected wires coming from the solar cells, so you need to drill two holes in the plywood and feed the wires
through. If there is remaining space around the holes, seal them with silicon.
The next step is to cover the solar cells with Plexiglas. To do this, you must build a “frame” for the panel by
fixing the frame to the plywood using silicon and wooden screws. Anchor the Plexiglas to the frame, using silicon
first then screws.
Take time to check every single inch of the solar panel for spaces where moisture could invade it. Seal any
space with silicon. The last step is to create a small hole near the bottom of the panel and apart from the wiring.
This will allow air to get into the panel and prevent moisture from amassing, as well as keeping rain from
If you have always thought of how to build a solar panel, just follow the easy steps and you will be one step
closer to conserving energy!