Getting Started With A Homemade Photovoltaic Panel

Due to the ever increasing gas prices, people are looking for cheaper sources of energy. Within the last decade, solar technology has evolved quite a bit and now they are not that expensive at all.

Better, low cost and efficient solar technology is now available. More and more people are turning to solar energy for saving money spent on household electricity. Whenever you think of solar energy, the first thing that comes to your mind is the initial investment and the installation charges.

In fact it is not that difficult to setup a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) solar panel, provided you have the right knowledge and required raw materials. This article will provide you all the information needed to setup a solar panel of your own.

First of all you will have to gather the materials required to build the solar panel and also a box to house everything. You can buy solar cells at cheap rates from eBay. Apart from the photovoltaic (PV) cells, you will also need wires, diodes and a jones plug to wire everything. You can buy diodes from eBay and jones from a local electronics store.

In order to construct the solar panel box you will need lumber, screws and hardware, silicone caulk, paint and plexiglass, all of which you can buy from a hardware store. Some other basic tools will also be required to assemble the PV panel.

A cordless drill might be handy during the process. A soldering iron will be required while assembling. You can also get PV cells at very cheap rates from commercial solar companies. Normally these companies find it hard to store old cells when they replace a system with new ones.

They will be happy to get rid of those older ones that use up their storage space. You can approach some of these companies; it will save you some money for sure. You can also go for used or damaged solar cells. They are hard to find but if you do, it can save you a lot of money.

When you order solar cells, make sure you order a few extra ones in case of some damage during shipping or assembling. Another important thing to look at is that the size of all photovoltaic cell should be the same. Difference in size means difference in the amount of current produced.

Mixing different sizes can affect the efficiency and energy production. Before constructing your own PV panels, you should have a clear cut idea about the amount of power you need and also about the size of your system. One solar cell can produce one half volt and a series of 40 cells will give you over 20 Volts.

Power in Watts is calculated by multiplying the Amps by the Volts. If your cell can produce 3 Amps, then your system will be able to deliver above 60 Watts of power. If you want to increase the Wattage, you can use larger cells. Large solar cells can make the entire system heavier and may use up a lot of space. It is always better to start with a smaller one and then upgrade it when the need arises.