Anyone interested in finding new ways to save energy or propose an alternative that provides all electric power to their home, regardless of the circumstances (think of electrical restrictions and natural disasters, such as earthquakes), will tell you that solar panels They are more practical. .
Although there is a small disadvantage in the use of solar energy, since you can only use it and “collect” solar energy if there are real emissions of sunlight, solar energy is one of the best alternatives offered by the modern era.
Many preparers rely on solar energy as an alternative to electric power, and enjoy the benefits of lower bills and green energy. On the other hand, most agree that fully functional solar panel installations are quite expensive, so not all can afford the use of solar energy.
In that sense, we are presenting a brief, easy-to-follow tutorial on how to make your own solar panels and begin to provide your home with an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative that could even be useful in many SHTF scenarios.
You can build your DIY solar panel in a short time following our instructions and suggestions. Let us begin!
The first step to making your own solar panel is to get profitable but functional solar cells. Solar cells are one of the most important materials for making your solar panels.
Now, there are many things to consider here: first you need to plan your budget to know how much money you have to spend and then you can start selecting the solar cells. You can buy them online or at one of the local stores (if available), but we recommend that you be careful and choose the cells that are of quality and that guarantee a lasting useful life.
Solar cells made in China may seem very tempting because of the affordable price, but the fact is that those cells are not as durable as you need them and there is virtually no Chinese company that offers a guarantee for the cells you are buying.
Another fact is that you really need solar cells to make your own solar panel, so you can also choose the ones that are a little more expensive but come with a guarantee, guaranteeing the quality to support your investment. The cells manufactured in the USA UU They could be the perfect option although expensive, but you get what you pay for and you want quality.
You should also calculate the number of watts you need, so you can have an estimated price for the cells you are buying. 200 watts should be enough for a medium-sized DIY project.
Making your solar cells
Yes, you can also create your own solar cells before you start creating your own solar panel. That could save you some money and that way you can also make sure you get the solar cell lines you want without having to verify the quality or question the origin of the solar cells. Keep in mind that instructions on how to make solar cells are only reserved for experienced craftsmen. Otherwise, success is not guaranteed.
By creating your own solar cells, you will practically be creating an imitation of photosynthesis. How? As plants use the sun’s energy to create energy that is food for them, solar cells use the same energy extracted from sunlight to generate electricity that they can use to provide energy and electricity to their home, everything that works with DC current once. Your DIY solar panels are made.
Glass plates are perhaps the best solution to make a base for your solar cells. The best glass plates that can be purchased for this purpose are the glass plates that are used for microscopes. You will need to take two glass plates to begin with, as you are testing your brewing skills.
First use ethyl alcohol to clean the plates thoroughly and once you have finished cleaning, you must use the cables of the multimeter to verify the conductivity of both plates. For each solar cell you want to manufacture, you will need two glass plates and order them according to the conductivity you read with the multimeter. The plates must be arranged on each side, after determining which side is conductive. Therefore, one driver side must face down and the other side up.
Now that you know which sides lack conductivity, you should stick those two sides with clear tape. The conductive sides must be coated with titanium dioxide and before you begin to apply this solution, you will first add a layer of tin oxide on the two conductive sides, above and below.
The next thing is to separate the plates, since you must remove the titanium dioxide from the lower plate and bake the upper plate. Prepare a natural dye made of hibiscus tea or raspberry juice (natural, sugar-free, of course) and soak the plate (face up) that still has titanium dioxide, while cleaning the other that has been removed from titanium dioxide. . Then you will have to test again the conductivity of the clean plate and mark the side that has none. Suggested mark would be a + sign.
Then cover the entire surface of the clean plate with charcoal. Remove the other plate from the dye and wash it with deionized water and rinse it with a tissue before drying it. Now you must combine the two plates so that the sides of the coating touch each other. You can use clips to hold the plates in place, moving the plates slightly (5 mm).
Once everything is ready, the next step should be to apply the iodide solution. The two coated surfaces should be soaked in iodide. You will use 2 drops of this solution and let it pass through both coatings. Iodide will make it possible for electrons to flow, going from one layer to another, it actually produces an electrolyte. Once you have finished, clean the remaining solution from the plate.
Testing the solar cells
You must test and activate the solar cells before going on to manufacture your solar panel and continue with the manufacture of more solar cells if you have managed to create the first one successfully.
You will need to use your multimeter again when you place the crocodile clips on both sides of your solar cell. The black wire will be placed on the stained plate, which is coated with titanium dioxide, which produces a negative side of the solar cell. You have already marked the plate covered with carbon, with a + sign, so you know that this plate is the positive side of your solar cell. You will cut the red wire.
Then, you will place the negative side of the solar cell somewhere where it is exposed to the sun, so that it can measure the voltage and current of your solar cell. Once you have measured the voltage, repeat the measurement after removing the solar cell from the point of exposure to light.
Now you should have a fully functional solar cell. If you prefer to buy more than buy solar cells, you must repeat this process until you reach the number of cells you need for your DIY solar panel.
The voltage should not go below 12 volts so you can have enough power and charge batteries and collect the energy you need. The voltage should also not rise above 24 volts, as it could become dangerous after that point.
Whether you are buying or manufacturing solar cells, make sure you have more cells than planned for the solar panel you are making, since the solar cells are very fragile and some may be broken, so you will need a backup.
How to make a solar panel
Of course, you will need adequate tools to build your own solar panels. The basic elements that you must have around to measure are a ruler and a pencil, of course, but you will also need a welding flow or a soldering iron, a multimeter, a hand saw and some boards, preferably made of wood.
It will use the welding flow to remove the grease from the solar cells it has and, obviously, a handsaw is very necessary, since there will be many cuts involved. You will also need to build a frame for your solar cells and the frame will be the basis for your DIY solar panel, so that is where a hand saw will be more than practical. For regular measurements, you will use your rule and to make sure that the amperage and voltage are also measured, you must use that multimeter of yours.
Having a staple gun and some plywood and cardboard instead of a wooden board can also serve as a base for your solar panel. The use of a protective mask and gloves will help you make sure you are safe, so that you can also add them to your list of items. Now that you have everything you need, we will guide you through your project with steps and tips on how to make a solar panel.
Make your template
So, in practice, this is the basis of your solar panel and there will be some measurements involved, since you need to make a template of where your solar cells will be placed. You will need to use a ruler and a pencil to draw the lines so that you then know how to separate your solar cells and get maximum efficiency from your material.
Once you have planned the distance between each of the cells and the cells, you can continue with the creation of your template. You can even make your stencil waterproof by using some water-resistant paint and painting the board you are using as a base for your solar panel. If you decide to do it, let the paint dry before continuing.
The next thing is to make a frame for your board. You can use some plywood or wooden boards to make the frame. Measure carefully and use your saw to cut. Be precise and careful. Once you have finished, clean the dust to continue with the next step.
Assemble the solar cells
You are already halfway now that you have your template. The next step must be to assemble the cells. Regardless of how many cells you are using, you should pay attention to your safety since you are now working with voltage. The cells must be connected in series and that’s where you’ll need your iron or flow solder to “stick” the cells together.
Another thing to pay attention to is the sides of the solar cells, since your solar panel will not work at all or it will not work properly if the cells are not connected in the following way: the lower part of the cells is positive and The upper part is negative. To assemble the solar cells correctly, as with the connected batteries, you will have to connect the negative side with the positive side.
Each cell must be in the range between 12 and 24 volts, since this is the safe voltage area. Therefore, 12 volts is enough for your cells to work. Overcoming the voltage of 24 is dangerous, so do not try to exceed that number to be safe and avoid a potential danger.
Before starting to organize the cells, linking the negative parts with the positive ones as you go, you can consider creating small frames in the number of cells you have and within the main frame of your template. Why? Well, simply because it can happen that some cells do not work, so to facilitate the work, maintenance and assembly of the entire construction, you can build small frames for solar cells and make replacements easier.
That way, you will not have to delete all the cells if only one or some do not work. Use your multimeter to check the voltage and amperage, so you are sure you are on the right path.
Now, when you have frames and when all the cells are arranged and connected, you must place some cables through the cell lines you have. Depending on the number of solar cell lines you have aligned, you will need the right amount of cables. The best type of cable for this purpose would be the cable called “bus cable”.
You will use the bus cable to connect all the cells and you may also want to drill some holes in the template to secure the cable as it moves through the template and connects the cells. The bus cable should go to the end of each line of solar cells, so you can get a long line formed by several solar cells along the main structure. The bus cable should be rolled as installed, but running the entire length of a solar cell line.
Drilling the holes
The holes you will drill are designed to support bus cables that will connect all of your solar cells. Again, you will have to measure carefully using your rule. To make sure that the holes are drilled in the correct places, you will have to mark where the cells are supposed to be installed. Then, after having proven where the cells are supposed to be, remove the cells and start drilling the holes.
To give additional support to the main frame, you may want to make another frame and drill the holes in the second frame. The frame with holes must be connected to the main frame. Then, you can connect all your solar cells as described above, connecting each line of the cell with the bus cable.
You have your frame ready and the holes are drilled, you have connected all the cells in several lines to match the length of your main frame.
That means that now is the time to paste all those cell lines to the main frame and through the perforated frame. It will use silicon to bond all the solar cell lines. Be sure to be careful and precise.
Once you have finished pasting while connecting the wires, you can use the multimeter again to measure the voltage and amperage again. It would be good (and safe) to measure the voltage after making each connection. That way, if something does not go according to the original plan, you can fix everything before your panel is ready to be installed and used.
Once you have finished gluing all the solar cell lines you have, you must solder the cables you have connected. You can use the soldering iron and make sure that all the lines have a strong connection, so its construction is solid and safe to be used.
Before removing your solar panel and placing it in the intended place, you must again use the multimeter to test the amperage and voltage of your solar cells. Once you are sure that the cells work with more than 12 volts and less than 24 volts, where 18-19 volts would be just perfect, you can charge all the appliances and even the battery of your car as long as everything you want is a maximum load. Providing with electricity runs in direct current.
In order to really use your solar panel, you will need a battery pack and an inverter that must be connected to the solar panel. Basically, you can use any type of battery that you have, but rest assured that you really can have a functional solar system; It is better if you decide to buy batteries that are specifically designed to store energy.
The type of battery you are looking for is the deep cycle battery, so to connect the panel and make it functional you will need: deep cycle battery, inverter and a charger controller.
Another option that is presented as an alternative to connect the solar panel to your system without having to use deep cycle batteries is to connect the solar panel to an uninterruptible power supply computer, also called UPS. You will have to handle it carefully and you should also know that the use of UPS can be a bit complicated, since you will need more energy to collect and that means you will need more panels.
Of course, you can follow the steps to make solar panels until you manufacture as many panels as you need, connecting all the panels in the same way until you reach the power you want and need to power your home.
To facilitate your work and help you visualize how the construction of a solar panel should look, we are adding a couple of videos to guide you through our tutorial:
Whether we are talking about economic crises, power cuts or outages, living outside the network or dealing with SHTF of any kind, it is true that solar energy is one of the best and most practical ways to use electric power and to provide electricity to your home. .
You can start and use almost all the appliances in your home as long as all the appliances work with direct current and the best thing is that your electricity bill will be significantly reduced. You may not even have to pay an electricity bill!
You will save a lot of money by doing this DIY solar panel project and you can also create your own solar panel, since solar energy systems usually cost a lot of money. In the end, when you have finished with your project, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have a backup plan to provide electrical power to your home.