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Make Your Own Solar Panels

Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into energy that people can use in their homes and offices. Many commercial solar panels can be very expensive, so you may opt to make your own solar panels at home. This may not help you save money on your monthly bills with solar panels, but learning how to make a solar panel can also teach you some basic concepts that will help you better understand how solar panels work.
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How to Make a Solar Panel

You can learn how solar panels function and you can save money by making your own solar panels. Anyone can make a solar panel at home using a few common items that you may already have around the house.

What You Need to Make Solar Panels

Everything that you will need can also be found at a local hardware store. The simplest way of making a solar panel involves using a micro-ammeter, an electric burner, and a pair of sheet metal sheers. In addition, you’ll need some alligator clips, a drill bit with sand paper attached, goggles, and a sheet of copper flashing to make solar panels.Make Solar Panels

Steps to Make a Solar Panel

(1) To begin constructing the solar panel, cut the copper flashing to fit perfectly on the burner. Make sure that the flashing is completely clean. Make sure you use sandpaper to remove any corrosion that may be present on the solar panel.

(2) After the flashing is clean, place it on the burner to make your solar panels. The flashing will need to be heated for at least half an hour so that it develops a black cupric oxide layer for your solar panels.

(3) After the cupric oxide layer has formed on your solar panels, allow the flashing to cool. This substance cools at a different rate than copper, and some of the cupric oxide will chip away. Do not be alarmed if there is significant flaking.

(4) Remove the last of the black cupric oxide by scrubbing under running water. However, you should be gentle to ensure that the red cuprous oxide remains on the solar panel.

(5) Next, cut a copper piece that is the same size as the one heated.

(6) Attach the solar panels to the inside of a clear glass or plastic jar with alligator clips. Make sure that the panels do not touch.

(7) Connect the negative alligator clip to the cuprous oxide flashing and the positive lead to the clean flashing.

(8) Dissolve two or three tablespoons of salt in hot water to make a solution. This solution should be placed in the jar, and it should cover the bottom of the plates but not the leads.

After You Make a Solar Panel

When you are finished, you can place your solar panel in the sun and attach the micro-ammeter. This will show you the amount of current that your new solar panel is creating.

If you have questions about how to make your own solar panels, contact a professional solar installer for tips or assistance!

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Written by: Christian Märtel, Editor