Solar power for your home: Useful tips
The past two decades bear witness to the rapidly advancing technology of using energy from the sun for electric power. The use of solar energy has become popular not only for businesses; solar power for your home has become increasingly attractive. (see also Build Solar Panel & Advantages of Solar Energy }
Why build a solar electric system?
Assembling and mounting small solar panels yourself will help you understand how it works so you’ll be able to do your own repairs and maintenance when problems arise. This is very helpful, especially when you are in a remote area where service from a solar company can take hours to arrive. Aside from the batteries you’ll use for storage, solar cells are lightweight and easy to transport. You do not need special knowledge or complicated equipments in order to mount your solar panels just before use.
Of course, it’s easier to have a specialist install your solar power for your home. Nevertheless, that being said, making a solar panel yourself is an educational experience that you will definitely appreciate once your system is producing electricity and savings. You do have to know about several issues you’ll be facing once you start building.
Solar power for your home: Getting familiar with materials and tools
You’ll be glad to know that materials for assembling small solar panels are within easy access as there are many options to choose from. But these options can be confusing for one who’s just starting with homemade solar cells. Photo-voltaic cells are popular because working with them is easy, and they come cheap. Be sure to avoid the wax-dipped variety or what they call ‘b’ grade as the power they produce is substandard. Moreover, don’t be seduced by cheap solar cells from countries like China. They are of substandard grade, and delivery is unreliable at best.
The ideal way to making a solar panel is to gather all the materials and tools together in an area that is clean and dust free.
You just need your standard, basic tools for your homemade solar panel. If you’re a simple DIY enthusiast, your workshop is already pretty much stocked with tools such as a soldering iron, a paintbrush, a hammer and saw, as well as a set of screwdrivers.
Now for your list of materials. You’ll be needing wood to make the frame to mount your homemade solar panels up on your roof. Wood panels and screws are enough to make the housing for the solar cells, plus some black paint for the frame to help the panels absorb more energy.
Get a tab wiring to connect the photo-voltaic cells. It’s a tedious process, so be sure to order pre-tabbed cells when making a solar panel to speed up the project and lessen the boredom.
For creating the protective lid for your panels, you’ll need a sheet of plastic, EVA glu, plus solder and flux. Don’t forget the blocking diodes that you’ll need to prevent back flowing of the current.
Solar power for your home: The building process
Now it’s time to begin the process of making your small solar panels system. Start with the external housing and use silicone filler as your sealant. Get your backing board and carefully place in the solar cells with the tabs facing up, using a glue to keep them in a 6×6 pattern. Use a solder and tab wiring to connect the tabs in a series. Don’t forget to attach the diodes which will prevent current reversal when there’s not enough sunlight to supply the system for homemade solar power.
Carefully lay the homemade solar panel inside the housing and cover it with protective plastic. Seal it and it’s now ready to be attached to your roof frame. Step back and admire your work for no one will guess that you made it yourself. You’ll notice that there will be a slight variation on output but it’s not that significant. The amount of power your system generates will depend on the sun’s intensity and the number of sunshine hours in your area.
It’s recommended that you have an energy audit before you start making your solar power for your home grid. This audit will help you get ideas on how to customize your house to make it more efficient in using green energy.