Why is it a good idea to learn how to make solar panels? Energy prices are skyrocketing by the minute, so more and more people are looking for ways to make their electricity bill more manageable. If you’re looking for an efficient way to become more energy efficient, then you can derive a lot from learning how to build your own solar panels. Solar panels can acquire energy from the sun during the day, and help power your home’s electrical appliances. This will mean less consumption of traditional energy and a lower electricity bill. Furthermore, solar energy is a renewable energy resource, so relying more on this power is contributory towards the green agenda of making the earth healthier.
How to Make Solar Panels that Can Save Your Money
Another way that solar panels can save you money is through tax rebates. States across the country have passed laws that “buy back” excess power that you have generated from your solar panels, and transfer these to the city’s main power grid. So when you learn how to make solar panels you could also be learning how to earn a little more money.
To be completely frank, it is still quite expensive to run a home that is completely independent from the grid and relying solely on solar power for electricity. To build your own solar panel which can generate electricity for a full house would require more than some research and some tools.
Learning how to make solar panels would require time and resources, but you can make your own small-scale solar panel for smaller electrical tasks, such as water heating. This can already save you a lot on the electricity bill, and you can definitely do it on your own.
The materials are already widely available in hardware stores, and the tools are probably things that your already have at home. Here’s a simple cheat sheet for everything you need to know on how to build your own solar panel.
- 16 volt solar panel
- Rechargeable 12 volt lead or acid battery
- Battery box
- DC meter
- Glass or Perspex Cover
- 2×4 Plywood
- Copper Piping
- Pipe Retaining Clips
- External Drum (for containing water)
- Handheld drill
Procedure on How to Make Solar Panels
- Look for a small solar panel that you can use. A 16v solar panel, like the one included in the materials list, is available at hardware shops or stores like the radio shack, and can go for under $100.
- To build your own solar panel that works will still need a re-chargeable battery so that it can run even during nighttime or cloudy days. A 12 volt deep cell battery should do the trick.
- Build your own solar panel based on the instructions included in the kit. These are pretty easy to follow. Peruse the box before leaving the shop. If you feel that you cannot manage the steps on your own you can ask the assistance of the shop people to help you get the instructions better.
- The next step on how to create solar panels is to create a frame container for the solar panel. The objective is to have a container that can collect as much heat from the sun as possible, which will then heat water that will pass through it in a tube.
- The front face of your solar panel container should be thick glass. To learn how to make your own solar panel, you could also use thick Perspex. It is easier to fix tightly in place by drilling holes and screwing down, but not as durable over the long term. Glass will require some kind of framing to hold it in position, usually made of wood.
- The edges, or frame, of your solar panel container are easily made from wood about 2×4 inches in size. To build your own solar panel frame will need to drill holes at the top and bottom edge of the container frame for the entry and exit of the water pipe. These holes should provide a tight fit around the pipe, to minimize heat escape. For the back of the container, you can use a sheet of 1cm thick plywood board, and fix it to the back of container frame.
- For the final step on how to make solar panels that work, you will need to line the inside of the container with a material that can provide insulation and reflection. This can contribute to heat retention, and also return more of the sun’s energy back into the container. You could use tin foil for this, but reflective radiator insulation backing is a more effective option.
Procedure on How to Attach Your Heater Pipes
- To build your own solar panel, you will need water pipes. Attach the pipe that will carry the water through the container where you have placed your solar panel. Don’t use insulated pipe for this job, as the water will not heat up efficiently. Copper piping is the best option. Use the copper piping with a very small bore, such as 10mm.
- Next on how to make solar panels piping is to bend the pipes. Bend this using a pipe bender and form it into a pattern that snakes back and forth to cover the width of your solar panel container. A pipe structure with more bends is most ideal because it can retain more heat. Attach the ends of the bent pipe to the holes drilled into the container, and fix in place with pipe retaining clips.
- Reattach the glass or Perspex cover atop the solar panel and pipes. The solar panel system is now ready to be filled with water. For this, an external water drum should be connected beside the solar panel unit, and attached to the entry and exit points.
- The external water drum should be created with exit points at the top and bottom respectively. The exit point at the bottom of the drum should be attached to the entry pipe at the bottom of the solar panel, and the entry point at the top of the water drum, should be attached to the exit pipe at the top of the solar panel.
- Start filling the system with water. When heated, it should flow in a circular cycle that would slowly bring the water drum up to temperature. A third exit point on the water drum allows the hot water to be siphoned out and used. It is best to place your solar panel heater outside, like in the lawn, for maximum heat collection.
You can build your own solar panel and adjust it accordingly to suit how much water you intend to generate regularly. Mastering how to make solar panels is also about practicing safety rules regarding electrical devices. It is advisable to also attach a thermometer to your unit in order to prevent accidents and injury from testing if the water is already hot enough.
The above article should give you a basic idea of what is involved in making your own solar panels to generate your own electricity. If you want to get into the fine details and learn the entire process step-by-step, then checkout the link below.