If you would like to help the world save electricity then why not build a solar panel. The items needed to build a solar panel can be located from any hardware store and its really straightforward to build a 60 watt solar panel. For this example we will be creating a 60w smaller panel but you can make any size (watts) really when you’ve mastered how to assemble your first one.
The biggest amount of money you will spend during the project will be purchasing your solar cells.You can use the net as well to find your solar cells. Solar cells are fragile and you need to check how they will be sent to you when you purchase. Some dip the cells in wax before sending to protect them. This is great but will take some labour on your behalf to clean.
To start you can purchase some wood to make a shallow box.Make sure to check that the size of the box will be large enough to hold the 36 solar cells.Put vent holes on the sides of the box as well.
For a really wonderful step-by-step diy guide to building your own solar panels with full colour pictures and plenty of video showing you how, be sure to have a look at Earth4Energy. Earth4energy is my no.1 all-favorite guide for building Solar or Wind power. It is really easy to follow and is great for beginners as well. Plus you get a whole bunch of other useful guides for renewable energy and going green included.
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Completely assemble the box and then paint the box on all sides including the inside. Don’t fret about the colours you can paint it any colour of choice. If the cells came shipped with wax then it is going to take a bit of work to get it off. Take 2 pots and fill with water, then heat until almost boiling, one of the pots must have soap in. You need to now place the cells in the plain hot water pot to break up the wax and then transfer the cells afterwards to the soapy water to clean off the residue. Do not dispose of the soapy or non soapy water by emptying into your sink as this mixture will solidify when it cools and can clog your drain.
Next you will solder those cells, placing 2 of them together, then adding another in series. Soldering the cells can be tricky that’s why I recommend Earth4Energy’s Guide to help with that. Right now its time to glue them to the board using a bit of silicon in the centre of the cell.When it comes time to flip the board you may have a bit of a time, but try and get a person to help out.
Use of copper braiding or regular wire will be okay to interconnect the cells.Use a volt meter at this part of the project to test if your cells are working by placing them in the sun to see if you get a reading.
Another step that is necessary is that of the placing of a blocking diode. The diode is important for the cloudy days or night time to stop the battery from discharging. You must run the wires to the outside of the box and connect the plugs for the switch now.
Last but not least cover the box with a clear plexiglass cover and then test before placing it on the roof.