The construction of a solar panel does not have to be expensive because the construction guides detailed below facilitate the ways to install solar panels. Most would know what solar panels are, but for those who can hear them for the first time, they are devices that transform light into electricity and get their energy from the sun, hence the word “solar”.
Cheap solar panels are the answer to the high electricity bills that affect all households on a regular basis; in fact, solar cells for the construction of a solar panel are getting cheaper every year and there are even ready-to-use solar panels available on the market; However, they are quite expensive and may not be within your budget.
Building a solar panel yourself is the answer to the high cost of electricity bills and the expensive retail price of a smart one. In addition to saving energy, you get the knowledge on how to build a low-cost solar panel.
Building a basic solar panel.
Buy cheap solar cells: you can buy solar cells from different vendors. E Bay, for example, sells it for a low price, so see what they have to offer online. Chinese solar cells are also in an agreement that would normally give good results, but there is no real guarantee that they will last.
Japanese solar cells are also available at reasonable prices and past performance shows that Japanese are a good variety. US solar cells are also available at a higher price but with the best performance and warranty. Then, before buying solar cells, look for products online that fit your budget and purpose.
Once you have your solar cells, unwrap them carefully because they are very sensitive and fragile. Get the following tools so you can start building your solar panel:
- Solder or solder paste flow: to remove grease from cables
- Mountain range
- Wooden boards
- Safety glasses
- Pencil and ruler
- A multimeter – for voltage and amperage measurement
Design your solar panel system by placing the solar cells on the wooden board and carefully marking the separate lines. Once you have finished planning how the solar cells will be placed on the plate, solder the wires to the solar cells and each other. Link the cells in series by soldering the positive cable to the negative cable of the next cell. The welding must be done until it reaches a voltage of 12 or 24 volts.
However, it is recommended not to exceed this voltage because it would be dangerous and could be electrocuted. It does not need more than the specified amount of voltage because the power it will generate will be the same.
Glue the cells to the wooden board slowly. It is recommended that you build a frame so that the solar cells can be inserted individually, and give you the convenience of replacing the defective ones. Drill the cable holes separately and then connect the buses along the positive and negative cables. Connect buses (thicker wires) in a matching pattern (more to more, less to less) to obtain a parallel connection that increases the amperage.
You have finished! You have built your first solar panel. To make sure it is working, take it outside to see if it will generate power by measuring the voltage and short-circuit amperage. Your ammeter should project the nominal power of the solar cells from 108 W to 12 V, which is equivalent to 9 amps.
Now you can use your solar panel to power electrical devices that work with direct current, such as car batteries. You can make another solar panel if you managed to do the steps described above. The more power you require, you will also have to acquire a larger inverter.
The most difficult part of building a solar panel is the care and quality you must do to connect the panel to a battery pack and connect it to an inverter. A UPS or an uninterruptible power supply will do. However, you will need more energy to provide the electricity you need for your home. Batteries for this purpose do not have to be new, but they may not last long because they are lead acid type. Buy batteries that are specially designed for energy storage and deep cycle operation.
Building an effective DIY solar panel
Assembling the parts
Buy cells: solar cells come in several types, but polycrystalline cells are better at a lower price. Buy as many as you need, depending on the amount of energy you want to generate. The specifications should appear on the list when you buy the solar cells. Buy extras, so replacing the damage will be more convenient. You can buy the cells at your local hardware store if they have some or you can get them online.
When the solar cells you bought online arrive in wax, clean them by immersing them in hot water (not in boiling water).
Measurement and cutting of the board.
First, you will have to measure a thin board that is a non-conductive material. Place the cells and place them in the type of array you will use. Measure the dimensions and cut the board accordingly. Leave an extra inch or two at the ends of the board, which will be used for the cables that will join the rows.
Then, measure and cut the tabbing wires. Its polycrystalline cells have numerous small lines that flow in one direction (the long distance) and the two larger lines flow in the opposite direction (short distance). Connect the tab cable to the two largest lines and then connect it to the back of the next cell in the series. Measure the length of the largest line and double the length, then cut two pieces for each cell.
The next thing is to use a flow pen in every three squares or strips of each line. Usually, two or three lines are made in the back of the cell. Then, use a thin layer of solder on the squares or strip on the back of the cells. It is possible that this procedure is not necessary when buying tabs previously welded, since the amount of time needed to cut them is minimized, saving on welding. Then, you will have to heat the first half of the tabbing wire over the squares or welded strips to attach it to the cell. Do this for all the strips.
Connecting the cells
Glue the cells on the board and place a small amount of glue on the back center of the cells and press on the board. Tab cables must run in a single straight line through each row. Make sure that the ends of the tabulation cable are between the cells and can move freely. Make sure that only two pieces protrude between each cell. Remember that one row must run in the opposite direction to the one next to it, causing the tongue wire to protrude at the end of one row and another on the opposite side of the next cells.
Remember that solar cells should be arranged on a rectangular table horizontally in long rows with fewer columns. For example: 12 solar cells of equal dimensions should be placed in a 4 x 3 configuration. Then, there would be four (4) cells horizontally (row) and three (3) cells vertically (column). And you also have to leave an extra inch from the solar cell to the edge of the plate at all ends.
Welding the cells together
Put the flow in the length of the two thick lines in each cell. Then, obtain the free segments of the tab cable and attach them to the full length of the contact pads. Make sure that the tabular cable is connected to the back of one of the cells, which must be connected to the front portion of the next cell.
In this case, you will have the link to the first row of your solar panel through the bus cable. Starting at the initial row of the solar panel, you can begin to weld the tabulation wire to the front of this first solar cell. The tabbing wires should be about one inch longer for what is requested, so that they can cover the lines and be stretched to the space given before the edge of the plate.
Begin to weld the two cables using the small portion of your bus cable that has to be the same size as the distance located on the edge of your solar panel, while the next or second must be farther in the next row.
You can start preparing the solar cell in the next row by using an extra length of the tab cable, as you did with the first one. You can continue joining the following rows of the solar cells until you have reached the last, which you will have to link again via a bus cable.
Building the panel box
Measure the panel cell obtaining all the dimensions of the panel board where you placed the cells to know the size of the panel box you will build. Add an extra inch on all sides of the measurements you have taken, to have space inside the bus cable box. Next, cut a piece of plywood according to the measurement you took in the first step. A table saw or a jigsaw can be used depending on what is available.
Next, you should build the sides of the box by measuring 1x2s for the long side base of the box, and then measure two additional 1x2s for the shorter sides of the box that will be placed between the ends of the two long pieces.
After cutting the pieces according to their measurements, secure them firmly in the flat table (in number 2) using platform screws and butt joints. Use the platform screw to join the pieces on the flat board in and on the bottom. The use of three screws per side will suffice, but the amount of screws you will need will depend on the length of the sides of the box. Then, you can start painting the box with the color you choose. It is recommended that you paint with white or other types of reflective colors, as this will help maintain a cooler temperature for the box.
Solar cells work better and last longer when they stay cool. Use paints that are outdoors and that protect the wooden box from the environmental elements. Place your solar cell panel in the box you have built. Secure it properly, making sure that the cells are facing upwards to absorb sunlight.
Obtain a diode that must be larger than the solar panel’s amperage, and then connect it to the bus cable. Then, you will have to secure these parts with a silicone sealant. Remember that the white striped end of your diode should be oriented in the direction of the negative charge or the end of the battery, while the other is connected to the negative side or the end of the solar panel.
The arrangement of the cables in this way will prevent energy from flowing back through the panel from the power source or the battery when it is not charging. Connect the wires by attaching a black wire to a diode, and then you will have to connect it to a terminal block that should be mounted on the side of the solar panel box. Then, connect a white wire from the short bus cable to the opposite end of the terminal block.
Buy a regulator / charge controller and then connect the solar panel to it. Make sure that the negative and the positive are correctly linked. Now pass the cables from the terminal block to the charge controller. Use a color-coded cable to know the charges inside your solar panel. If you have more than one solar panel, separate the negative and positive cables. Then, connect the positive and negative wires to form only two (2) wires.
Buy batteries that will work in a manner compatible with the size of the solar panel you built. Connect the charge controller to the batteries according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. After connecting the batteries and charging them from the solar panel, you can use them to operate your equipment or electronic devices. The amount of energy you will need will depend on how much you need to make them work.
Sealing the box
Buy a piece of Plexiglas and cut it to fit inside the box you built for your solar panel. Plexiglass is available at your local hardware store or at a specialized store. Make sure you get plexiglass, not glass, as the glass is susceptible to breakage and splinters. The next thing is to cut 1 and # 215; 1 “wood blocks to use as stops, which will fit into the corners of the box. Each block must be high enough to fit over the terminal block; however, it must be below the edge of the box, at a depth that is a little thicker for your plexiglass.
Position the stoppers correctly in place using wood glue or something similar. Then, install the Plexiglas by inserting it into the panel of the solar box. Use a drill and suitable screws. Fix the Plexiglas carefully on the wooden blocks you made using the screws. Seal the edges of the box with a silicone sealant. Any hole you see must also be sealed to prevent water from entering. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly apply the sealant.
Assembly of solar panels.
There are certain ways to assemble your solar panel and the techniques to choose will depend on your situation. However, take a look at this short list to begin with. First in the installation of solar panels It is to mount your panel or solar panels in a cart. While this will place the panel at a fixed angle, you can change the position of the panel from time to time to follow the direction of the sun. The use of a cart will need position adjustments two or three times a day.
You also have the option of mounting the panel or panels on the roof. However, the angle must be consistent with the sun’s path. If you have more solar panels and a small space on the roof, you may need to find another place to place the rest. You can also mount the panels on satellite mounts. Satellite mounts can be programmed to move as the sun moves in the sky. Although only a small amount of solar panels can be accommodated when using this option.
Additional information on solar panels.
- Tabs and bus are two types of techniques that join individual solar cells to make a solar panel, which also provides a way to transmit the energy of solar cells to an energy output device such as the junction box. The interconnection of the solar cells occurs when the individual solar cells are fused with a tabulation tape to form a group of solar cells.
This process is called a cell tab or chain of cells. The tabulation tapes transmit the power of the solar cell to a larger tape, which is the bus tape. The bus tapes transport the energy from the group of cells to the connection box, where the current is finally released.
- Tab tapes are generally applied as parallel strips that are interlaced from the top of one cell to the bottom of the next. Connect the positive terminals to the negative terminals in the series of cells. The tabulation tapes are soldered in the paste that was applied to the TCO. Tabulation applications create groups of solar cells. Once the cells have been tied with tab tapes, they are placed on a glass substrate.
After that, the thickest bus tape is soldered to connect it to the tab tape for each group of solar cells. The tabulation tapes collect the electric currents of the group of solar cells and then transport them to the bus tape. The bus tape drives the total electrical energy taken from all the groups of solar cells to the junction box for the final output.
- The standard or customized size for a solar cell is 156 mm x 156 mm. The solar cells must be cut in custom or conventional size. Once the cell is tested, it is cut with a laser cutting machine, which is fully automated.
Maintenance of solar panels
After you have built your solar panels and have them in operation, you must keep them in good shape so they last longer. If you want to make sure your solar panels last, you will have to remember some basic maintenance tips.
Clean the glass in the solar panel box regularly. Since the box of solar panels is at the mercy of environmental factors, cleaning them is a must. Remove everything that obstructs the ability of the solar cell to capture sunlight.
Never use abrasive materials to clean the glass of your solar panel to avoid scratching. Use a biodegradable soap and a soft cloth in place to clean the glass. If your solar panel is located on the roof, be careful when you climb it to clean it, since water and soap will make everything slippery.
Remove them from the shadow. While cleaning your solar panels, make sure they are not in the shade of the sun. Any tree branch with leaves or shrubs that block it, or a part of it coming from direct sunlight, must be trimmed so that it can absorb sunlight more effectively.
Monitor the panels. If your solar panels were brought from the manufacturer, constantly observe the inverter screen, since the green light must be constant. However, if the green light is flashing or goes out, call the maintenance service. Regularly record the performance of your solar panel to make sure it works efficiently.
Go green and save energy, enjoy the natural benefits of your solar panels!