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Making Your Own Solar Panels

If the cost of buying and installing solar panels still seems out of reach you might be thinking about trying to make your own solar panels. Can you really make your own solar panels? The answer to that is yes, and no.

You can make some small non-PV types of solar panels on your own. You can use these solar panels in a homemade solar water heating system or sometimes even in a solar heating system. You can use homemade solar panels for passive heating but you cannot make PVsolar cells capable of providing enough energy to power your entire home on your own. Consumers just don’t have access to the kinds of materials that are needed to create high intensity PVsolar cells.

PVcells are simple in design which makes some people think that they would be easy to make but the materials are very specific and need to be produced in exactly the right conditions in order to generate electricity. You won’t be able to find the ultra concentrated crystalline silicon that you need to make a PV solar cell at your local home improvement store or the conducting metals that you need at the local discount store.

If you want to try out using solar power or just decrease your energy bills by making your own solar heating panels you can do that on your own. There are kits that you can buy containing the supplies and instructions on how to build your own solar heating cells or you can pick up the materials yourself at the local home improvement store and get free instructions on how to build a solar heating cell on the Internet.

Be sure that when you are looking for instructions on how to build your own solar heating cell look for feedback from people that have used the directions that you are thinking about using to build a working solar heating cell. This way you have some kind of proof that it actually does work.

If you don’t want to put the time and effort into building a solar heating cell some home improvement stores, hardware stores, or electronics stores sell pre-assembled solar heating panels that you can buy to create your own solar heating system. There are also stores specializing in solar energy systems that can sell you what you need for whatever level of do-it-yourself involvement you are looking for.

Tips for Making Your Own Solar Panels
If you’ve decided that you do want to try making your own solar panels you’ll find that it’s not that difficult to make them but it might be difficult to actually make them work. Here are a few tips that will help you build working solar heating panels:
Check the instructions carefully – If the instructions seem like they don’t make sense, you probably won’t end up with a working solar cell. Reread the instructions until you understand them completely. Don’t just assume you know, be sure.

Get all your materials at once – When you’re out shopping for the materials for your solar cell make sure that you get everything you will need so that once you sit down to start work on the cell you won’t have to stop and go get something you forgot.

Get backup materials – If you can afford it it’s a good idea to get two of everything that you will need to make the solar cell so that if you make a mistake you’ll have fresh materials on hand.
Make a practice cell – Follow the instructions given but use inexpensive materials like wood or cardboard just to see if the directions are clear, easy to follow, and will create something that has a good chance of working.

Don’t expect too much – You are building a solar heating cell, not a PVcell, so even if you make 100 of them they aren’t going to power your home. If you have clear expectations about the capacity of the solar cell you’re building then you won’t be disappointed with its performance later one.

Use your solar cell – Put that cell to good use, don’t just let it sit in the basement. You might think that just having one solar cell won’t do any good but even on solar cell can provide power. If you really want to start using more solar energy for heating build several cells and make your own solar panel.

Use the right tools. Your solar heating cell won’t work if you aren’t using the right materials to make it and that includes tools. If you don’t have the tools that you need to build your own solar cell try to borrow some from a friend or neighbor or buy some new tools.

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