Self-made Solar Panels – is this Possible?
An ideal way to improve the worth of a home is by converting to solar power. Not only does solar drastically reduce a lifetime of costs but it reduces the consumption of natural resources for many generations to come.
Furthermore, many people are opting for a sustainable community by going green. In fact, is a sustainable living environment is one of the fastest growing enterprises today. Adding solar power to a home will attract future buyers and increase its value.
Although the initial investment of solar power may be expensive it will drastically reduce electric usage and other utilities. Once solar is installed the price is set. Additionally, self made solar panels can lower costs even more.
It is conceivable to construct effective self made solar panels. Yet investigating sources like the Internet for guides and instruction often leads to mistaken securities. Oftentimes an advertisement guide for building solar power will have confusing information on how easy it is to make your own solar panels. Although most guides are very informative with step by step instructions, self made solar panels do require devoted time and work.
Equally, there are various do it yourself (DIY) guides that are designed for the experienced solar power builder as well as the inexperienced. Some DIY guides can be found at a very reasonable price and some are actually free. Generally the paid guides are recommended since they have more detailed instruction. Additionally, a paid guide will often have support, FAQ’s and member forums if you have questions.
The Solar Panel
In basic descriptions, the solar panel is a box that is comprised of a collection of solar cells. It is the solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. To produce power a lot of solar cells are needed. Additionally, solar cells are extremely fragile and can break easily. To protect the cells and produce enough useful power for energy they are placed in a panel.
Most panels, for a variety of design reasons, contain 32 to 36 individual solar cells. A 36 cell panel gives more voltage than a 32 cell panel. The higher voltage is useful if you are designing a panel for a location that tends to have a lot of cloud cover, as the panel can produce more watts with less sun.
Overall Needs for Building a Solar Panel
Since a single solar panel produces limited amount of power you will need an array of panels. Furthermore, the cells must be electrically connected to each other and to the whole system including each panel. In addition, an inverter that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and interconnection wires are needed. As well, occasionally a battery is needed.
Depending on the design, it takes anywhere from 32 to 36 individual solar cells to build a panel. Typically, a higher voltage is needed if you live in a geographic area that has little sunlight. The 36 cell panel will produce more watts with less sun.
Are Solar Panels A Good Investment?
When buying solar cells it is imperative that the cells are shipped in way that reduces damage since they are particularly fragile. Some sellers dip stacks of cells into wax to stabilize them and reduce damage when shipping. But one drawback is that the wax is very difficult to remove and you may end up breaking far too many cells in the process.
It is also important to buy cells that have metal tabs on them for it will save a great deal of time and money. Solar cells need to be attached to a lead for an electrical connection and cells with tabs provide that lead. Without a tab you have to solder a connection to the cells conductive strips to create a lead. As well, attaching a tab to a cell increases the risk of breakage.
Problems in Building Self made Solar Panels
One of the biggest problems in building self made solar panels is not only finding solar cells but obtaining them at a reasonable price. New solar cell can be rather expensive to purchase and difficult to find in large quantities. Imperfect or damaged solar cells can be found on the Internet on sites like Amazon or Ebay at a much cheaper price. Yet low-priced solar cells are sometimes not the best quality. By the same token, substandard solar cells can be used to make self made solar panels that would probably be sufficient.