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Believe it or not, you don't need to be an expert to be able to build a solar panel, the “do-it-yourself technology” is now within everyone's reach. With a little patience, even beginners can build a solar panel, the first thing to do is to get all the components, for this purpose you can take advantage of portals such as ebay but also the hardware store near your home could do for us. Do-it-yourself and DIY stores can only be useful if they are well equipped.
The fundamental ingredient is constituted precisely by solar cells, they are composed of silicon, the same material used in computer chips. A solar cell consists of two layers of silicon separated by a matrix of insulating material. The three layers thus arranged work by capturing sunlight and converting it into electrical energy. It doesn't matter if you will use solar cells of class A or class B, the procedure remains the same.
What we need to build a solar panel
Solar cells, Plexiglas, Soldering iron or soldering resins, Wire, screws and silicone for sealing, frame. These just mentioned are all materials that can be easily found at the hardware store. The cheapest solar cells are sold individually or in series. If you are buying single ones, the first step is to connect them. Take each cell and connect it in series, from the negative side to the positive side; both a tin soldering iron and soldering resins can be used for this step.
If you are not equipped with a soldering iron, resins can be an excellent alternative. A package costs about 6 euros and includes two sticks, in one there is the resin and the other the hardener. The so-called "metal welders", in DIY stores are found in the category "Special Adhesives" and are suitable for adhering plates of steel, iron, aluminum and many other solids. Being very versatile they are right for us, if you go to the hardware store ask for resin to weld metals cold.
The action time is 5 minutes; the cold solder must be used by mixing equal parts of resin and hardener, the compound obtained will be very dense. With a spatula, it must be accompanied on the edge of the solar cells so as to make them adhere to each other.
The cells are not only welded together but also connected by means of special wires that are usually supplied with the same cells. If the cells are not equipped with wires for interconnections, have a spool of wire and cut the most suitable length for the series to be built. If the solar cells they are very numerous, they could be welded in portions and then anchored all together on the frame, if the dimensions are smaller, a zig-zag welding could be thought of in order to minimize the amount of wire used. When soldering the solar cells, they must be face down so you work better with the wire and avoid damaging the photovoltaic portion.
Once the cells have been welded together, you can proceed with fixing them on the frame. This operation can be carried out with the aid of silicone so as to put the cells in series on the base frame; wooden bases are the easiest to find and cheapest. After completing the wiring phase, the cells must be covered with plexiglass or glass.
In the field of alternative energy, the easiest solar panel to build seems to be the thermal one. The "do it yourself" is a practice that fascinates many and building a solar thermal panel yourself could be a great satisfaction. The solar thermal panel it is used to heat the water. The objects used are almost the same as seen previously, more attention must be paid to the base which must be a real wooden box. This time, a video posted online by a "handyman" American.
image credits | wutel.net