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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Build Your Own Solar Panels

As conventional sources of energy become more expensive and unsustainable, more and more homeowners are turning to renewable energy to help power their home. Renewable energy is generated from natural resources that are instantly renewed and its consumption doesn't adversely affect the environment. Building solar panels are one of the best options available to help you generate renewable energy in your home.

Instead of buying commercial panels, DIY solar panels are more affordable and simple enough to construct with a good set of detailed plans and step-by-step instructions. The tools and materials needed to construct the panels include solar plates, photovoltaic or solar cells, a semi conductor block, inverter, conductor wires and a battery pack. These components are easily constructed and readily available at affordable prices.

There are 5 main steps to build your own solar panels, with a brief overview you will see just how easy it can be to generate solar energy in your home.
Step 1 - Construct the solar plates

The solar plates are the basis of your the main panel, this includes the solar cells, cement base to keep the cells at a safe temperature and a sheet of glass to protect the solar cells from weathering. The photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, absorb energy from direct sunlight. This direct sunlight has the potential to heat the solar cells to very high temperatures. This is why a layer of cement is added to the solar plate to keep the cells at a safe level to avoid any heat damage.

Step 2 - Connect conductor wires to link the cells

Each end of the solar cells should be connected by conductor wires to feed to the semiconductor block. This is how each solar cell is connected to create a working build it yourself solar panel. The solar energy captured in each individual solar cell is send through the conductor wires to a central location in the semi conductor block. From there the energy is able to be uniformly sent to your battery banks where it can be stored or sent to your inverter to be used in the home.
Step 3 - Install the solar panels

Where you decide to locate your build it yourself solar panels is just as important as ensuring the initial construction is done correctly. You need to find the best location around your home where your panels will receive the maximum amount of full sunlight throughout the day. This is why you see so many solar panels located on the roof of houses. Another idea is to construct a tall mounting pole in your garden or backyard to mount your build it yourself solar panels in a high location, but ensure that it will be kept out of the shade of overhanging trees.

Step 4 - Connect the inverter

The final stage in generating electricity from solar energy is by connecting an inverter to your battery kit. This is how the solar energy collected from your build it yourself solar panels is converted into the correct current to be fed directly into your homes power grid. The solar energy generated from your solar panels is fed through to your inverter as a direct current (DC), this needs to be converted into the alternating current (AC) that your home runs on.

Step 5 - Connect the battery

The battery is used to offload any unused electricity that is generated from your build it yourself solar panels. This excess energy can be kept in reserve for power outages or camping trips. You may not necessarily need to keep reserves of your solar energy as you may be able to contract with your current energy provider to pay you to feed your unused power back into the main power grid.

As you can see with a basic understanding of each of the components involved with build it yourself solar panels and how these components work together to capture and generate energy, it isn't necessarily a difficult or overcomplicated process. Of course, it is highly recommended you invest in a good detailed guide and further your understanding of the construction process and the technology involved before you go ahead and build your own solar panel.

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