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— Charles Hoy Fort

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Easy to Learn How to Make Solar Panels

Plenty of people have been looking into installing solar panels in an effort to combat rising energy costs. When most of these people see the prices of the professionally installed panels they realize it may not be a luxury they can afford. There is an easier, more cost efficient way to harness power from the sun and that is to learn how to make solar panels for your self.

Any motivated do-it-yourselfer can learn how to make solar panels for their home, workshop or business. When compared to the cost of purchasing and installing a pre-made solar energy system, learning how to make solar panels for your energy needs and the materials you need to execute the project are far less. By learning how to make solar panels for yourself, you have greater control over the size and design of your system as well.

Once you have a quality manual and you have learned how to make solar panels, the supplies are fairly simple to find. Most can be found at your local hardware store like, plywood, sheets of glass, and a roll of copper wire. It is also easy to locate inexpensive solar or photovoltaic cells to use in your project. Many are available over the Internet or you may have a retailer available locally. One you’ve learned how to make solar panels and you have your supplies, it usually takes about a day to assemble a 100-watt panel. This is the perfect amount of electricity to operate small appliances or a small workshop.

The most important step is finding a quality manual with detailed instructions for learning how to make solar panels. In many cases you get what you pay for, so don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars on a well-reviewed instruction manual. Overall, the cost of the making your own panels is so low, the price of the how to guide is minimal - you will still be paying way less learning how to make solar panels on your own than purchasing a professionally installed system.

With a little bit effort, you can be on your way to learning how to make solar panels to meet your energy needs. Then sit back and bask in the pride the next time the power goes out on your block. Your lights will still be on because you learned how to make solar panels and your energy supply is still in your battery bank.

2 comments:

Charles said...

Solar electric panels should not be your first solar project. While no solar project is particularly complex to build once you have the design, the payback on the typical PV system is quite long.

Your first project should be to build a solar hot water heater.

Hot water typically eats 1/3 of your energy bill, and hot water panels can be built cheaply and easily.

Thus, the payback period for a DIY solar hot water heaters is typically less than 2 years.
Because the energy collected in a water heater is in exactly the same form as it's final use, the only losses associated with a hot water system are inefficiencies in collection and/or storage.

This makes heating one of the most efficient uses of solar energy.

PV systems on the other hand, begin with an initial conversion efficiency of 5-17%, and then face losses in transmitting and storing the power (unless you sell excess to the grid--which many states require the utilities to purchase--often at retail.)

Check out the SolarHeat group on Yahoo. And check out http://www.builditsolar.com/
for more information.

Charles M. Barnard

Source Patrol said...

I agree with Charles... A water heater is better for a first project.

Check out www.make-solar-panels.org