There are plenty of DIY solar projects that you can do that take very little carpentry and electrical knowledge, which can be done in as little as a weekend. One obvious DIY solar project is building your own solar panel. Building your own solar panel can save you money on your monthly electricity bill and help the environment by moving us off of dirty sources of electricity.
Materials– 36 monocrystalline solar cells, plywood, masonite pegboard, plexiglass, wood molding, blocking diode, electrical jack, solder, tabbing wire (copper), flux pen or heat resistant adhesive, and silicone caulk.
You can build a solar panel is 6 easy steps:
- Lay the solar cells in rows of 6 on the plywood
- Solder the cells together in an array from left to right. Use separate copper tabbing wire to connect the positive and negative poles. Be careful with the solar cells, they are incredibly fragile. Leave enough excess wire so that you can attach the blocking diode and electrical jack.
- Test the voltage of the array using a voltmeter. Make sure that the output is close to ½ volt per cell.
- Using the flux pen, dab the backs of each solar cell. Place the masonite pegboard over the solar array so that it covers all of them. Carefully flip the arrangement over so that the undabbed side of the solar cells is facing up.
- Finally, cut off any excess pieces of pegboard.
DIY solar projects can be very fun. With minimal building skills and as little time as a single weekend, you can build your own solar setup. The benefits are tremendous and will no doubt pay for themselves in electricity cost savings. Solar and wind are important parts of our renewable energy future, and it is the responsibility of each and every person on this planet to convert to cleaner sources of energy and reduce excess consumption of electricity. Do your part now.