Build Your Own Solar Panel

Individual Solar CellWhen you build your own solar panel, you will save money compared to buying a readymade solar panel which means that you will save more money as you generate your own power.  And to build your own solar panel is a very easy project.  But buying readymade solar panels is also a good alternative as either way; you will save money on electricity.

The first step is research your local construction regulations and any tax incentives and other savings that are available from the various government agencies that may affect you.  The internet, of course, makes it VERY easy to do this research.

Next, when you build your own solar panel, you must evaluate how much energy you can create with the space you have available, either in your yard, or on your roof.  You can expect approximately 20 watts of electricity from each square foot of solar collecting cells.  So, for example, if you are able to install a 10’ x 20’ solar array (collection of solar panels) you could expect to generate about 4000 watts of power, enough to power 40, 100 watt light bulbs – as long as the sun was shining on your solar array.  An average refrigerator may consume 1000 – 1500 watts, so you may even be able to run your refrigerator from your solar array, but only when the sun is shining.

Solar Panels After you have investigated how much power you can create with the space you have available, you will want to get good set of instructions to build your own solar panel. This will include not only the solar panels (or solar “array” – an assembly of solar cells and panels that together will create the most power), but also the batteries to store the power created from the sun when your usage is low – which allows you to use your electrical lights and appliances when the sun is not shining, and an inverter that converts the low voltage DC (direct current) that comes from the wind generator and batteries to an AC (alternating current) voltage that will run your lights and appliances.

Solar Panels on RoofThe best place to site your solar array is on a South facing (in the Northern Hemisphere – North facing in the Southern Hemisphere) roof of your house at approximately a 20 degree angle from the horizontal. This provides the best power output throughout the year. And, of course, since the solar array is collecting heat in addition to the light, make sure there is space between the solar array and the roof to allow air to circulate and keep the roof from getting too hot.

And, of course, you will want to make sure your solar panels are waterproof so they won’t get damaged by rain.

Back Yard Wind GeneratorA great supplement to solar power for your home is wind power. With both solar panels and a wind generator supplying power, you are even more likely to be selling power back to the electric utility and reducing your electric bill. This is a real win/win.

There are many good books available showing how to add solar and wind power to your home yourself. And there are many other books and web sites that will help you figure out what your savings might be should you add renewable solar and wind power to your home.

solar power kits