Your Own Sustainable Technology: Making Cheap Solar Panels

Generating your own power taking nothing from the Earth and still saving money on your electric bills too. Nothing says sustainable technology better than a solar panel system. The problem with that is the price of solar panels – there are no cheap solar panels on the market. 

They are getting to be less expensive every year, but for an off-the-shelf installation, you’re still looking at paying around $10k. For the guy that is looking for a way to save money, that’s a huge expense! 

We are living a battle for energy efficiency and sustainability. If you have any desire to come out a winner, you need the most advanced weaponry you can afford. You need weaponry that will help you pay less each month on your energy bills. 

The best way to get this type of weaponry is to build a solar panel system with cheap solar panels. Wouldn’t it be nice being independent of your energy needs answered? With that independence include not paying somebody else to rent their solar panels. If only you could be energy independent and own your own cheap solar panels, being sustainable for Earth and your own budget. 

Well, you can! The following are steps that will guide you make your own solar panel, a DIY project to creating your own sustainable technology. 

1. Purchase cheap solar cells online.

We found some on eBay, shop around online and you’ll find several places where you can buy solar cell types inexpensively. China has the best price, but the guarantees are anything to count on. Japan has some that offer a good performance and price with a worthy guarantee.  Then there are American-made ones that offer the best performance at the highest price, with the better guarantees. Your budget will be the decision maker but make wise choices. 

2. The tools you need.

Before you unpack the solar cells that you ordered, get your tools together that you’ll need: 

  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Solder flux or paste
  • A saw
  • Piece of plywood
  • Multimeter
  • Pencil &ruler
  • Protective glasses 

Unpack your solar cells with the utmost care and caution. They are thin and will break easily. 

3. Your own solar panel system plan.

Place your square solar cells onto the plywood board and carefully draw lines to separate them. 

4. Wire it up.

After you have your solar cells physically arranged on the plywood board, drill holes for the individual wires. Now, solder the solar cell wires to each other. Start by linking the cells in sequence using the basic rule of a positive lead soldered to a negative lead. Continue this until you have a voltage of 12 voltage or 24 voltage, without exceeding that amount. Any more voltage and it becomes dangerous. You want serious power without electrocuting yourself.

Now that you have a minimum of 12 volts and can kick-start a 12V inverter that will generate 110/220V AC, link the cell in series to increase the voltage. Carefully place the solar cells on the plywood board. You may want to build them in frames where the cells are replaceable individually should one become defective over time. 

Next, connect buses along the positive and negative lead, connecting those buses in parallel, remembering minus = minus and plus = plus, creating a parallel connection that will increase the amperage. 

5. All Done!

You now have a functional solar panel system. Take it outside and see what kind of power it generates by measuring the voltage and the short-circuit amperage. Your ammeter should show a nominal power of the solar cells at 108W at 12V means 9 amps.