How To Build Cheap Solar Panels?
Building a solar panel is the best way to harness the energy we receive from the sun to power our homes. The materials one requires to build cheap solar panels include –
1. Tabbed photovoltaic copper indium selenide cells.
2. Deep picture frames or some shallow boxes.
3. Clear plastic sheet or Plexiglas sheet.
4. Soldering iron and solder.
5. Popsicle stick.
6. Black and red insulated wire and some uninsulated wire.
8. A schottky diode if the voltage is more than 24 volts and an AC inverter if the solar panels are to be used to power appliances.
9. Battery holder if the solar panels are to be used to charge batteries.
The instructions to be followed to build cheap solar panels are as follows -
• Position the photovoltaic cells face down on the Plexiglas or clear plastic sheet. Take care to ensure that the sides with the lines face the sun.
• Connect the cells in a series with the negative terminals of the cells being connected to the positive side of the cells using the tabs on the side.
• Ensure that all the tabs are pointing in the same direction when the cells are connected, with the tabs going from the top of one cell to the bottom of the next cell.
• Solder the tabs together with the help of some solder and soldering iron. Use the Popsicle stick to press down the bottom of the cell to the tab quickly.
• Glue the cells to the frame using silicone glue.
• Ensure that the silicone glue does not get in between the cells and the plastic or Plexiglas sheet.
• Align the frame on the cover and press it down so that the back portions of the cells stick to the frame.
• Ensure that the positive ends of the tabs are all in one side and the negative tabs on the other while connecting the wires.
• Connect the black wire to the negative ends and the red wire to the positive ends of the cells.
• Replace the Plexiglas cover which had been earlier removed to connect the wires. There will be one black wire and a red wire that would hang out of the panel.
• Hook up the panel and keep it in the sun.
• Measure the amount of current and the voltage that is available with the help of the multimeter.
• Connect the wires of the solar panel to the AC inverter if the panel is used to power appliances in the home.
• Connect the solar panel to the battery holder if the panels are to be used to charge the batteries.
• Hook up the solar panel in a place where there is maximum sunlight available in the garden or on the roof of the house.
After the solar panel is hooked up, it can be used to power the home, run lights and fans radios and even small sized televisions.