Choosing Solar Cells Carefully:
As mentioned previously, solar cells come in different sizes and types. The price of solar cells varies depending on their output and manufacturer. When you are purchasing solar cells, then make sure you ask for broken and dead cells. These cells are great for practicing soldering and learn how to handle them.
However, dont use any substandard solar cells in your panel. Sometimes cells that have hairline cracks appear to be functioning well, but when they go into the panel, they break easily because the panel is exposed to the weather.
If any solar cell breaks then the whole panel has to be taken out to replace the bad cells. This is why you have to inspect solar cells even before soldering them.
If you are working with PV cells, then you have to be very gentle with them as they can break very, very easily. During soldering, many people break them by applying too much pressure on them. Solar cells are heat-sensitive that is why it is essential to test soldering on a broken or dead solar cell before do soldering without damaging the cells by applying too much heat.
What Can You Run With A Diy Solar Panel Built Using Cd
Now, the question is can you run the electronic appliances at your home using a CD solar panel? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. You may add more CDs however, it wont make sufficient wattage to run your appliances. As mentioned earlier, the only things you can run with a CD solar panel include mini fixtures and toys.
To get more ideas on how to get started with your DIY solar panel, you might want to take a look at this video:
Diy Moving Solar Panel
Are you worried your home wont get enough sunlight if you go to the trouble of creating your own solar panels? Youre in luck with this one.
This tutorial shows you how to create a DIY solar panel which will follow the sun. When this happens, you dont have to worry about not having enough energy to offset your efforts. Such a cool idea, dont you agree?
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Solar Panel System: How To Build A Cheap One
A cheap solar panel system will forever be the best solution to expensive electric bills. Solar cells are getting cheaper each year.
While you could pay up to $10,000 for an off-the-shelf installation and could cover the systems price in just over 10 years, its still better and more educational to make one yourself.
Lets face it: were still living the post-traumatic stress of what happened in 2008, and were still living uncertain times when every cent we take from the bank is thoroughly analyzed before we actually sign a contract. The lack of financial stability has caused astute savings among those who learned how to save what they have, including energy.
Were living in a war right now. The battle for energy efficiency has never been fought with more advanced weaponry, and the winners are all those who pay less for more month after month after month
The first line of defense against paying more for electricity than you did last year is building your own solar panel system. Yes, you may have heard of Solyndra collapsing and may have even thought, at least once in your lifetime, how it would be like having your own solar panels mounted in your backyard or on your homes rooftop.
Theres a problem: how to you recover the costs within a couple of months?
Well, theres a solution to that: build your own DIY solar panel system. Heres how:
Make A Solar Cell In Your Kitchen
A solar cell is a device for converting energy fromthe sun into electricity. The high-efficiency solarcells you can buy at Radio Shack and other stores aremade from highly processed silicon, and require hugefactories, high temperatures, vacuum equipment, andlots of money.
If we are willing to sacrifice efficiency for the abilityto make our own solar cells in the kitchen out of materialsfrom the neighborhood hardware store, we can demonstratea working solar cell in about an hour.
Our solar cell is made from cuprous oxide instead ofsilicon. Cuprous oxide is one of the first materials knownto display the , in which lightcauses electricity to flow in a material.
Thinking about how to explain the photoelectric effect iswhat led Albert Einstein to the Nobel prize for physics,and to the theory of relativity.
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Diy Hybrid Solar Systems
Combining features from both grid-tie and off-grid solar systems, hybrid systems enjoy the best of both worlds. You can store your solar power for use at night or in power outages.
This is ideal for homeowners in certain areas who would otherwise have to pay higher peak rates for grid electricity in the evenings or at night.
However, if you have good net metering in your area and power outages are minimal, a standard grid-tie system may be your best choice.
Below is a diagram that illustrates how a hybrid system works:
As the graphic shows, a special hybrid inverter is used in this type of system. Its also important to note that if you opt for this setup, you should purchase the batteries at the time of installation. Battery technology is advancing rapidly, possibly resulting in non-compatibility with your hybrid system if you wait too long. This could mean a lot of costly upgrades for you later.
For hybrid systems, AC-coupled batteries are common. These batteries store both DC from your solar array and the grid AC as alternating current . Currently, the Tesla Powerwall is one of the most popular choices for an AC-coupled battery.
A photovoltaic system using a DC-coupled battery is more energy efficient than current AC-coupled batteries. This difference is more pronounced with a large-scale installation. So, it probably wont affect your home solar installation efficiency.
Creating A Template & Putting Frame Together
Use a ruler to keep everything aligned and straight, a jigsaw makes it easier to cut the plywood, but a regular hand saw will do ok as well.
Finished the template, start putting the frame together. Use a 1x2x8 piece of plywood, cut that to fit the outer frame of the plywood, to make sure the outer frame is not too high to prevent from loosing any sunlight will use. place the pieces of plywood on top of the 2×4 pressure treated plywood, screwed those down and sand the entire frame afterward as seen in Part 2 of the video.
After sanding and cleaning up any extra dust left over, apply the Deck and Siding paint onto the frame. prefarably use 2 coats for a nice seal from UV rays, making it water resistant. Then place 2 coats of the Deck and Stain paint on the 2×4 piece of pegboard.
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Rating Of Charge Controller:
Since our system is rated at 12V, the charge controller is also 12V.
Current rating = Power output of Panels / Voltage = 125 W / 12V = 10.4 A
So choose a Charge Controller of 12 V and more than 10.4 A.
If you like to reduce your system cost you can make your own PWM charge controller. For step by step instructions you can see my instructable on building a PWM Charge Controller.
You may also like my new 3.0 design of an Arduino MPPT Solar Charge Controller.
Design And Determine The Size Of Your System
Design and determine the size of your system based on your energy needs. To determine how many solar panels you will need, you need to know how much energy you plan to use on average per month, and how much sun exposure you can expect throughout the year. Once you know that, you can pick out which brand and model of solar panel will make sense for you.
To determine how many solar panels you will need, you need to know how much energy you plan to use on average per month, and how much sun exposure you can expect throughout the year. Once you know that, you can pick out which brand and model of solar panel will make sense for you.
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Panel Arrays And Connection:
I always recommend starting with a smaller 12-volt panel. They are not oversized, and one person can easily handle them. Two 12 volt panels can be connected together in series to make a 24-volt system or four 12 volt panels in series to create a 48-volt system.
To get more current, you can connect four panels in this way make two pairs of panels by connecting each pair in series then connect two pairs each other in parallel.
Assembling The Solar Cells
In step 6, plan at which position each cell will be placed. Later on, you can begin connecting the cells. In order to get the highest voltage, the cells must be connected in series. For instance, if you have 36 sections equalling 63 watts, the best layout would be four solar cell columns, each having nine cells connected in series.
When connecting, the rest of the cells repeat the above steps.
Ensure to join as many solar cells as required to reach the least voltage of 12/24 volts. This voltage is needed to start a 12-24 volt inverter. The voltage is converted to 110/220 volts AC by the inverter.
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Whats The Cost Difference
The cost of solar panels have come way down within the last decade. It used to cost upwards of $5/Watt. But nowadays you can find and should shoot for $1/Watt. Building this panel was not worth it if you only take into account the dollars per Watt and time spent doing so, which are both incredibly viable things to weigh when preparing for your solar set up.
This panels specifications, rated on its 36 cells, would be labeled at about 68 Watts. However, you can never rely on getting the highest rating of a panel because panels arent usually at their maximum angle for more than an hour, if even that long. I had strung four cells together prior to building the panel to get an estimate of the cells amp output and instead of getting 3.8A or close to what the retailer claimed, I only got 2.0A or slightly higher. That makes the panels Watt output to be from around 35W up to 65W. The total cost of this project was over a hundred dollars. That means Im paying about $2-$3/Wnot cost effective.
On top of that inefficient cost, it took me hours and hours to make and I have no warranty. I cant call anyone to complain or ask for service or support except myself.
You may be interested in this series of videos on solar basics:
As well as their corresponding articles and information:
Planning The Panel Wiring
Every solar cell has a positive and negative lead . They are marked with + for positive lead and – for negative lead. The face of the solar cell is the negative side, and the back is the positive side.
Solar cells are usually connected in strings. In the example given below, each string consists of four cells, and the panel consists of five strings of cells connected together.
Cells can be connected in two ways:
See the picture below for the difference between series and parallel connection.
Cells Connected In Series a string of four .5 volt 2 amp cells connected in series will have the output of 2.0 volts, and 2 amps at the end leads. To connect cells in a series, connect the string from the back of one cell to the face of the next cell, and so on.
Cells Connected In Parallel The same four cells when connected in the parallel can produce 8 amps and 0.5 volts. To connect cells in parallel, join the faces together. In order words, the positive side connect to the positive side of the next cell, and the negative side connect to the negative side of the next cell.
What Are Your Options For A Solar Panel Installation
You have options for your installation:
#1: You can purchase pre-made solar panels or build them yourself and install them.
#2: You could hire a solar company to provide a full turnkey solution, removing all hassles for you.
#3: You could hire your own contractor to install them. This option will likely be cheaper than having a solar company install them for you.
Ok Let’s Build A Solar Panel
We are going to be building a solar panel with 36 solar cells in it arranged in rows of 9 and 4 like this…
Since each solar cell is rated at 1.75 watts, 36 of them wired in series will give our completed solar panel a total of 36 x 1.75 = 63 watts . This would be referred to as a 63 watt solar panel.
Free Solar Panel Plans
Step 1: Cutting Out Your Panel’s Front and Back Sides
The first step in making solar panels involves cutting out your solar panel’s front and back sides.
The front of your solar panel will consist of a sheet of clearacrylic.
The back of your solar panel will consist of a sheet of white acrylic.
Note: This material is perfect to make solar panels with because it is weather proof, corrosion proof and durable.
You must cut your pieces of clear and white acrylic to the exact dimensions of your solar panel.
So how do you figure this out?
It’s simple, whatever size of solar cells you use, you must measure them out and multiply their width by 4 and their height by 9. This will give you the approximate width and height of your two pieces of acrylic , but don’t cut yet.
You must first make sure your measurements include about a 1/4 inch of extra space in between each solar cell .
Also leave about 1 -2 inches of extra space between the outer edge of the solar cells and the outer edge of the entire panel to allow space for the aluminum frame .
Let’s put these two “cut” pieces of acrylic aside for now and continue learning how to make solar panels.
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Install The Proper Solar Inverter
Installing a solar inverter takes expertise because it will need to be hooked up the electrical grid. For this, we recommend utilizing the help from a professional installer, as they will do this safely and effectively with the right permits.
Request quotes from top-rated solar installers in your area
Foil Window Solar Panels
Lets say you need to make an easy solar panel. Lets also say you want to put the panels on your window instead of a roof.
Well, youve found the right tutorial. This one shows you how to construct a solar panel which weighs only three pounds and can be attached to your window to help create solar energy for your home. Is your curiosity peaked? Great! Go check it out.
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How To Build Your Solar Panel From Scratch
If you are a homeowner, you will try everything to save as much money as possible. The first one that pops up in your mind is the electricity bill. Without electricity, life seems dead.
As electricity is getting used heavily on a daily basis, you will be shocked at the number of times you will look at your electricity bill or how frequently you will have the thought of it at the back of your head. Fear not, because there is a solution to every problem.
The solar panel will be your ultimate savior. This only requires proper sunlight, and it will take solar energy from the sun and convert it to electrical energy. Your happiness will be on top of the world when you get to see the electricity bill drop down beyond your expectation.
Investment for the installation of the solar panel is huge, but you can lower it significantly if you build it on your own. You will feel proud if you can get it done by yourself.
Building it on your own has multiple advantages. Your installation cost for the professionals will not be required, and most importantly you will get to use the panel right away.
Before starting, you must know all the tools and techniques necessary to make your project a successful one. The following article will cover all of it.
Lets check it out.
Putting It All Together
After the last step the plates are ready to be put together. Place the plates on each other but leave about half a centimeter on both plates exposed so you can attach it to the alligator clips .
Hold the plates together with the binder clips place them on the sides. There is one last thing we need to do to get good conductivity between the plates. Take off one of the binder clips again and put a few drops of the iodide solution on the sides of your creation so it gets between the plates, this will successfully electrically bond the plates. Absorb any iodide solution that did not go in between the plates with a cotton swab.
Congratulations! You have now created a solar cell!
You can measure the output of the cell by attaching alligator clips to both of the exposed parts of the plate and to the leads of the voltmeter . mine generates about 25 millivolts when exposed directly to sunlight
You have now created a working solar cell!
This couldbe the start of something bigger, one individual cell does not produce a lot of electricity but if you were to make multiple larger versions of these it could really produce quite some electricity. Use your imagination!
Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comment section!