Homemade solar panels on neighborhood rooftops are becoming a common sight in many communities as homeowners look to find ways to reduce the ever increasing cost of electrical power from the commercial power grid. There was a time, in the not to distant past, that solar power for the home was beyond the reach of the average homeowner. No longer. Any homeowner can learn how to build homemade solar panels and install a solar power system on his home to significantly reduce his monthly power costs.
Before You Start Building
Most of our commercially supplied electric power is generated using rapidly depleting fossil fuels; coal and oil. Not only are these sources vanishing, they are expensive and they are the major contributor of carbon emissions that are the cause of global warming. Solar power is inexhaustible, free to all, and has no negative effect on our environment.
You can realize significant savings by installing a system of homemade solar panels on your home. You can save even more money if you learn how to make homemade solar panels and install them yourself. Once the initial cost of construction and installation is paid, the power generated is absolutely free. There are also government programs that provide tax credits of up to $2000 that can reduce even those initial setup costs. The initial costs can be amortized quickly with the monthly savings on your electric bill.
Solar Panel Types
When one refers to homemade solar panels the first image brought to mind is the roof mounted solar array that generates electric power and stores it in batteries for use on demand. This is the most prevalent and easily recognizable application, but there is another. A system which is quite similar in appearance to the uninitiated is the solar collector which uses a type of solar panel that uses the sun’s energy to heat water in a heat exchanger. These have been used for a longer period than the panels that generate electricity, as they do not require the use of photovoltaic cells. They use the sun’s energy to heat water directly.
Both types of homemade solar panels require mounting in a location that receives an abundance of direct sunlight. The panels that provide hot water contain heat exchanger mades of copper tubing through which cold water flows to be heated. It is a simple mechanical device. The solar panels that generate electricity contain an array of tiny solid state electronic devices called photovoltaic cells. These cells produce an electric current when exposed to direct sunlight. The solar panel contains an array of hundreds of these cells, which generates a significant amount of power.
Both types of panels must receive as much direct sunlight as possible. Most systems are mounted in a fixed position at an angle that ensures maximum exposure to sunlight even though much of it will be at an indirect angle. More sophisticated systems have motorized tracking systems that continually reposition the solar panels to follow the sun, ensuring more direct sunlight at all times. Regardless of whether the homemade solar panels are in fixed or variable position, they will produce reliable, free, and green electric power for your home at considerable cost savings.
Building Homemade Solar Panels
Once you decide that a home solar power system is the prudent option for your home, you must determine where on your property the solar arrays will be exposed to the most direct sunlight during the day and for each season of the year. Most homeowners find that the roof of their home is the best location, but others with large open areas on their property find that a free-standing system is more suitable.
After you’ve selected a location, you’ll need a plan, blueprints, and a step-by-step guide to walk you through the intricacies of how to make a homemade solar panel. These guides are readily available at bookstores, at building supply stores, and on the Internet.
With the plans in hand, you can determine what component parts you’ll need, acquire them locally or from the Internet, and begin a solar power system for your home that will go a long way to saving you money and protecting the environment of the planet.
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