Jan 142010

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When you build a solar panel, there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration before you actually start. Building a solar panel is a relatively easy process if you have good instructions to follow, know where to get the individual products from and have the right equipment.

But before even those basic steps, it is more important to have a clear picture of what your solar panel is going to end up looking like and where you are going to use it. Do you just want to build a solar panel – 100 watt to recharge your camera batteries or do you want to build a 1000 watt solar panel to power some of the appliances in your home or do want to build an 8000 watt array to power all your home electrical products and feed electricity back to the grid.

The only difference between making 500 watt solar panel and 100W solar panel is the quantity of solar cells you require and the time you have available to spend on the project. The main reason for many people wanting to make their own solar electricity is that they can save on the cost of having to actually by them because they are very expensive.

Having decided the size of panel or panels you are going to produce, the next part of the process and the critical part is to establish where you can acquire low cost if not free solar cells. The first port of call for me is eBay, sometimes you can get lucky and find someone who is selling a pile of solar cells at a very good price. So what if you can’t find what you need on ebay and other auction sites, what do you do next?

The best option is to contact companies in your local area who use solar panels to power remote pieces of electrical equipment. Find these organizations, contact them and start building rapport. Explain your project goals and the tight budget you are working to, so when they do get damaged solar cells, they will contact you to take them away. One of the major users of solar cells are the road and traffic signs, often you see them on the side of the road, and often they will have the company’s contact details on them. These signs get damaged on a regular basis and have to be repaired.

If the solar panel is damaged they will throw the old panel away replace it with a new one. These damaged panels will still work fine, and if you know how to build a solar panel, it doesn’t take much to repair them in most cases.

The biggest challenge for most “solar panel builders” is finding a reliable, low cost source of solar cells so pick your telephone directory and start looking for those companies now.

My passing shot is to remind you what I said a short while ago, know precisely what it is you want to end up with, how big and where you are going to put it. If you don’t have that clear picture, you will build an array which has no useful purpose. You just end up with disorganized chaos. Stick a picture on the wall and go and build it.

Different Types of Solar Panels

  • Polycrystalline Solar Panels – String Ribbon Silicon
  • Monocrystalline Solar Panels
  • Thin Film Solar Panels – cadmium telluride

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 Posted by at 7:12 am