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am intrested in making my first solar panel.where can i get the materials and at what price.can somebody help? Answered

eager to construct a 40 watt at fist.in need of price list of materials needed and a manual to follow.thanks in advance




7 years ago

Buy a one or more 12 volt deep cycle marine or RV batteries: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ULT-9016-103

Get a solar panel and a charge controller:

Your done, if you wan't to get 120v out of it get one of these:

All of this comes out around 400 dollars. Setup should be easy especially with the recommended kit, and if you know red (+) black(-) then you are set.


7 years ago

You can purchase a variety of panel quantities on Ebay. They're really pretty reasonable too.

Search here and via google for "DIY solar panel". You'll have more plans than you can shake a stick at

Jack A Lopez

7 years ago

There are a couple of different levels to this.

What most people call a "solar panel", is a photovoltaic module, consisting of several smaller units called cells, all wired together.

The price for complete PV modules, at the time of this writing,  is about 5 to 10 USD per watt of available power in full sun.  Using this approximation, one would expect a new 40 watt PV module to cost about 5*40 to 10*40 = 200 to 400 USD.  So the modules are expensive.

As an alternative to this, some people sort of build their own modules from the cells.  There are a bunch of instructables on this subject, here:

However, be warned that this can be kind of labor intensive.  I think a typical module based on silicon solar cells is going to be 36 of them wired in series.  It's a lot of connections, and the cells themselves can be tricky to solder to.  Also I am not sure about the quality of the finished module.  So I wonder if you actually gain anything, except knowledge, by building the modules yourself, compared to just buying them. 

Anyway, I think the results of the search I linked to above will include details on where to buy the individual cells.  If not, the cells are sold by the usual surplus partsmongers, e.g.

They're probably selling 'em on eBay too.


7 years ago

What do you mean by "making a solar panel" ? Do you mean soldering lots of cheap bits together, or do you mean making the "bits" themselves ?