How To Build Solar Panels To Power Your Home With Generated Electricity

With energy prices expect to rise, an increasing number of homeowners are starting to use a DIY solar panel to install their own solar energy systems. This has proven to be effective, saving many homeowners hundreds of dollars monthly.
By: Andy O'Silliven
July 29, 2009 - PRLog -- Are you aware that solar panels come in a wide range of prices? That's because panels of the same size aren't created equal; they may have variations in the quality, functioning age, and technology of the solar cells, which cause them to produce variable amounts of electricity.

For instance, early solar cells are less efficient than modern ones. You'll generally find that quality increases as technology becomes more advanced and precise.

Solar panels have an effective lifespan of 20 to 25 years, and their wattage and value output steadily decrease over that time. So you'll find that a solar cell in storage will be more valuable to you than one that has been converting sunlight to electricity for a long period of time.

The most effective way to compare the value of two solar cells is by measuring the dollars/watt ratio. Currently, your best deal on solar cells is approximately $4.30 per watt. A 50 watt solar panel will cost you about $215. Use these figures as a guide when you're making your assessments of solar panel prices.

As you're making your buying decisions, you'll want to determine if you need newer, smaller panels, which can be more expensive. If you have enough mounting space for your solar panel, you might be able to use older technology, which might be less expensive because it can provide you with a cheaper dollar/watt price.

You can also save a considerable amount of money on your solar panel investment by using scrap solar cells. Scrap solar cells are simply those broken during manufacturing, and solar cell producers often sell them very cheaply. You will have to solder them together yourself, but the upside is that you can generate electricity at prices under $3 per watt. If you have soldering experience, you might find this to be a very appealing option.

You need a reliable solar panel instruction book because you've decided to install solar panels in your home to produce free electricity. It really isn't that difficult of a project, and you can even make your own panels from inexpensive solar cells if you want to save even more money.

What do you need to get started?

• A reliable helper
• The right location
• And a detailed solar panel instruction book
• Ordinary household tools such as:
 - Wire crimping tool
 - Wire cutters
 - A sheet of plywood
 - Copper wires
 - Screwdriver
 - Cobalt steel jobbers' twist drill bit, heavy duty, wire gauge size 26, 3" L, 1c" L flute
 - Machine screw size high-speed steel hand tap taper, 10-24, H3 pitch diameter, 4 flute
 - 7/32 drill bit
 - Plastic sheet cutter
 - Reamer
 - Pliers
 - Hacksaw
 - Solder, 60/40 or silver
 - Soldering iron, or soldering station
 - Sheets of glass
 - Drill

Let's start with the right location. As you probably know solar panels produce electricity from the sun, so it follows that your panels should be placed in a location that receives as much sun as possible. Even just a little bit of shade will drastically reduce the power produced by your system. Some installers recommend putting them on the roof, but we have found that regular maintenance (cleaning mostly) is very difficult for most people on their roof. For that reason you should probably locate them in a sunny location on the ground.

The recommended solar panel installation guide shows you all kinds of mounting options and even solar tracking devices which follow the sun all day to maximize your power production. When you start to build your mounts, you will need a good helper. It makes sense to have a helper as some of the pieces are awkward and of course the solar panels are kind of fragile.

You can use simple tools for the installation too- wire cutters, cordless drill etc. It really isn't complicated. Take the time to read the solar panel instruction book carefully as many options for installation are available. Wherever you decide to install your solar panels you should consider the option of making your own.

Obtaining solar cells (round or square discs that are the smaller components panels are made of) is not that hard and will cut your costs by up to 70%. That could be in the thousands of dollars for most household installations.

The first time you see the sun striking those homemade solar panels and starts producing free electricity for your home you won't be able to stop smiling. What a joy it is.

Did you know that electricity rates are expected to double by the end of next year?

Isn't it time you took action for your family to avert this possible cost increase? Let's get started.

If you are interested to learn how to build you own solar panels, visit:

You may also want to get your solar installation guide here:

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Andy O Silliven is an engineer and author in the fields of electrical engineering. He enjoys writing about the topic and keeping up with current events and research in the area of renewable energy sources. Recommends:
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