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Currently I'm a college student studying computer engineering, and this summer while I was on break I decided I wanted to learn more about solar energy and how to build a solar panel from scratch. My main reason for looking to build it myself was to learn how it all worked, and the next reason was due to the price of a commercially built solar panel.

So to get started, I searched around and found a few videos here and there, and a few articles on how to go about building a solar panel, but it was hard for me to find a full free video or article that showed you the full process to making a solar panel from scratch. I ended up having to watch about 4 different videos, and then having to sign up for a forum to ask other questions I had in order to get a basic idea of how to go about building my own solar panel.

It was basically an adventure for me, and mid-way into the project, I decided that while I'm learning about how to build a solar panel, and putting it together, why not create a free video to help others that want to learn about solar energy and how to build a solar panel. Of course it takes time to edit the video, and time to create a website, but I see it as a small great way of giving back.

So, you'll learn how to build a 63 watt solar system in this instructable with free videos to help you get started. I know I'm a visual learner, so hopefully most find this very helpful.

For the full video series, simple visit my website at: http://www.greentechtown.com/how-to-build-a-solar-panel-diy


Step 1: Creating A Template & Putting Frame Together

First, I want to make a template for my solar cells. What I used was a spare piece of regular plywood, a piece of regular cardboard the size of a solar cell, some tile spacers, and a staple gun to create my template. I wanted to use the tile spacers to help keep my solar cells even as seen in Part 1 of the video.



Using a ruler helped to keep everything aligned, and it's easier to cut the plywood using a jigsaw, but a regular hand saw will do fine as well.

Next, once I finished my template, I started to put the frame together. What I used was a 1x2x8 piece of plywood, and cut that to fit my outer frame of the plywood. I wanted to make sure the outer frame was not too high to prevent from loosing any sunlight I could be using. So I then placed the pieces of plywood on top of the 2x4 pressure treated plywood, and screwed those down and sanded the entire frame afterward as seen in Part 2 of the video. After sanding and cleaning up any extra dust left over, I applied the Deck and Siding paint onto the frame. I wanted to give it 2 coats for a nice seal from UV rays, and making it water resistant. I also needed to place 2 coats of the Deck and Stain paint on the 2x4 piece of pegboard.
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<p>The solar stirling plant is the most powerful way to generate free electricity. It generates over 12x the power of regular solar panels in less space and for less money! Imagine lowering your monthly electric bills by 30, 40, 50% or more. <a href="https://solarstirlingplantblog.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow"><strong>Free video reveals</strong> </a>a crazy secret to cut your electric bills by 75% (or more) In Just 2 days!</p>
<p>I made my first solar panel 2 weeks ago. I used 'inplix' plans to make it. Working well. I can recommend it</p>
<p>SPAM</p>
<p>I took the inplix package yesterday. I'm gonna make solar this week :)</p>
<p>SPAM</p>
<p>Did it work?</p>
<p>how much amps</p>
<p>wow</p>
<p>Good job.</p>
<p>I looked at ebay. Panels etc. for 75 watts was USD$30.00. A company in Miami is selling 250Watt panel for $0.45 per watt.</p>
<p>I heard that there is Mercury in solar panels and that is a fact.</p>
<p>Please do not chew, ingest, or otherwise insert the solar panels into your body. </p>
<p>So true xD</p>
<p>Depends on what panel you are making; many are Hg free</p>
<p>Because in most cases, (depending on what/where/how your going to be using it) You won't be covered by insurances or your municipality will not allow its installation unless it has been built, installed and certified by a pro... Especially if it were to be tied into the grid. (Which by the sound of it you wouldn't be doing) Unless you're putting it in a cabin up in the woods or some place remote.. Fine.. </p>
How long would it take for someone to make one once they got the hang of it? Do you know about how heavy it was?
Which solar cell and Amt of solar cell needed to run a room
What's an Amazon video tutorial.
Doesn't plexiglass discolor over a fairly short period of time being exposed to the elements ? Thanks.
<p>For the record check around here are a few </p>Acrylic sheet/pmma panel
So, I'm building a panel, what should I use as a front glass please? Thanks a lot. Robert
i'm not quite sure how you're getting your tabbing wire to stick; i've been using solder on mind - front and back of the cells - and its not only coming off but it's tearing off the contact on the negative side and not sicking when i try to reapply it. did you get pre-tinned tabbing wire? am i just stupid? i cant get it it work (or at least stay on). bty - you're videos are amazing. i really appreciate the hard work :)
<p>no your not stupid i made this mistake and you need a rosin flux pen, it cleans the surface of the area were you are trying to solder. look up #186 flux pen on ebay</p>
<p>Flux pens are used to aid the situation not a permanent fix, solder, rods, iron still need to be cleaned with alcohol. Want to be #1......want to be successful, i'll tell you a secret that nobody will figure out till i open my mouth. What the heck i'm an educator.</p>ER209 stainless steel solder wire. It uses chromium
<p>Not bad, not bad mate. I made my solar panel too. check for http://inplix.com if you want to know more</p>
Well sometimes it can be a result of the type of tabbing wire you have and the type of soldering iron you have. I noticed one time when I bought some tabbing wire off eBay from a seller, the tabbing wire was a lot thicker than the tabbing wire that came with my solar cells (bundle purchase). And I too noticed it was harder to solder that thicker tabbing wire onto the solar cells and I was forced to put some solder onto the tabbing wire and then solder the tabbing wire down. But I had a basic soldering iron too, so the heat required to solder that thicker tabbing wire down could have played a factor, I'm not sure, but I'd recommend to you just to ask the person or company you buy it from next time what type of soldering iron do they recommend and is the tabbing wire made for the type of solar cells you wish to solder it too.
<p>cool work</p>
<p>hi u soldered the bus but u did not tell us why the bus is different on both ends, and I did not see were the negative wire is soldered to !</p>

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Bio: Robert Smith discovered the wonders of online content at an early age. He started out while in middle school using free web services to create ... More »
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