The benefits of solar energy need no introduction and it’s clear that solar energy is the future. However, a solar setup can be quite expensive, and even though it’s definitely worth it, not everyone has the budget to buy it. Here is how to make a solar panel at home!
No time for DIY projects? Shop over 1,200 solar panels on Jiji
1. What you’ll need
Obviously, you cannot construct a solar panel using the tools and materials you already have at home, unless you already planned to do it earlier and forgot about it. To build a solar panel at home, you will need the following materials and equipment:
Read more: Solar Panel Price In Nigeria + Buying Guide
- Solar cells
- Non-conductive material, such as wood, glass, or plastic
- Tabbing wire
- Flux pen
- Soldering iron with solder
- Bus wire
A few words about solar cells. They are going to be the most costly item on your shopping list, so it’s important to choose them carefully. The most affordable option is Chinese solar panels you can buy online. They are budget-friendly and have a rather high quality. Buy as many as you need to achieve the desired voltage and get a few extra panels since they can break easily and you may need a replacement.
2. How to make a solar panel at home
Building a solar panel at home is a challenge that requires you to have at least some technical skills. Here are the steps you need to take to make your own solar panel from scratch:
Read more: Cost Of Building Materials In Nigeria 2020
- Take your wooden board. Using a ruler and a pencil, make lines for your solar cells. Leave a couple of centimetres on all four sides and cut off the rest of the board you don’t need.
- Cut the tabbing wire into two pieces per each solar cell using the length of the long lines crossing the cell.
- Degrease the panels and prepare them for the heat of soldering by using a flux wire to wipe every strip in every solar cell you have.
- Using a soldering gun and solder, connect the tabbing wire to the solar panels. If you buy solar panels without any soldering, you will also need to use the soldering gun on the panels first, meaning they will need to be heated twice.
- Put a dab of glue on each solar panel and glue the panels onto the board in rows. Leave a couple of centimetres on each side. The loose ends of the tabbing wire should be free to move. It’s best to make longer rows with a smaller number of rows overall. Remember that the rows should alternate in terms of the solar cell placement.
- Solder the cells together using your soldering gun and the loose ends of tabbing wire. You need to connect the cells by their thick lines.
- Using long and short bus wires, connect the rows of solar cells between each other. If you have little to no experience with electricity, you may need to watch a couple of video tutorials on how to do that.
- Connect the bus wire to a diode, and then connect the panel to a charge controller.
- Now link the charge controller to the battery. That’s it – you can plug any device you want into the battery and have it run on solar power, provided that it can produce enough energy to keep your device alive.
- You can put the solar panel into a box for extra security or leave it as it is. Mount the panel to the area in your outdoor space where it can get the most sunlight and enjoy your energy savings.
Read more: Advantages Of Solar Energy
Buy and sell with confidence from your phone using the Jiji app