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How To Build Solar Panels

How To Build Solar Panels

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About Me

My name is Neville Pettersson and I have created the this site to help regular home owner’s like me make their own

energy at home. For more info about me check out the about page here. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and Pinterest.

The price of electricity is climbing as oil prices nudge up above $100 a barrel once more. Turning to home energy production with wind and solar is a natural response: not only would you save on your electric bill, but you would also help the environment and reduce dependence on dwindling oil and natural gas.

But browsing the price of an installed rooftop solar power system can bring on its own version of fear and loathing. A rooftop solar system capable of supplying all or most of your home's energy needs can cost as much as a new car.

So how about installing the system yourself and saving on the labor costs? That will bring the price down, sure -- but the solar system kits on the market will still set you back thousands of dollars. But there is a solution, because the biggest part of the cost of a solar system, other than the labor to install it, is the
cost of solar panels. The price of solar panels has been coming down lately, but it is still well above what you'll pay to make your own.

How To Build Solar Panels -- Cheap!

Just as the solar panels are the biggest part of the cost of a solar system, so the biggest part of the cost of solar panels is the price of
photovoltaic cells. Solar cells are the individual silicon wafers with electrical tabs attached that go into making up a solar panel. Each cell converts sunshine into electricity, but it takes many solar cells to generate enough energy to be useful on a household scale (although many small applications like solar-powered calculators use single solar cells).

The key to making
cheap solar panels is to get solar cells that are both cheap and high-quality. To do that, what you want is to find factory seconds: cells that have blemishes and aren't as nice-looking as perfect cells. They work just the same as far as power generation goes, but they may have little dings or chips or other cosmetic defects. These can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of retail (or even wholesale) solar cells.

Building Solar Panels At Home

You will need some tools, but probably nothing that you don't already have at home except for a soldering iron. It's recommended that you get some practice using this item if you don't already have it. You will be soldering connections between solar cells so that they are connected serially, negative-to-positive. It take a little practice to do this right, but it's not a difficult skill to master.

So how much work are we talking? To produce a simple solar system containing several solar panels and install it to produce electricity for your home will require two or three days dedicated to the project -- a weekend, say. It's a fair amount of work, but well worth it for the money you will be saving. It's also fun, especially if you've never done anything like this before!

Continued below....

How To Build Solar Panels

How much can you save? It isn't hard to find materials that will let you build solar panels for less than $200 each, with each panel capable of generating about 18 watts of power.

The entire system, fully installed, for a typical house would cost no more than $3,000, which is less than half of the cost of a kit capable of generating a similar amount of power, and only a fraction of the cost of a fully-installed system.

An average electric bill can cost $200 a month or more (and rising), which means the system would pay for itself in less than a year and a half.