Building your own solar system to harness solar energy is a big undertaking, but for many DIY-ers or anyone interested in engineering, it can be a fun and rewarding project.
Building an entire system yourself will take a lot of research and planning, including sourcing the right materials and getting the proper permitting from your town.
It makes the most sense if you want to build a panel for a small project like as backup power for an RV. We do not recommend building your own solar panel system for use on your home, there are too many errors that can occur and lead to unsafe panels.
We will walk you through what you need to know, review the pros and cons of DIY panels, and why working with a professional installer may be a safer bet.
How do I build a solar panel system?
You can follow the step-by-step process below.
Note, before sourcing your equipment, it is important to keep in mind that solar cells offered on websites are usually seconds that didn't make it past quality control. They can be chipped, blemished, or otherwise damaged, which is definitely not ideal.
How to build a solar panel system.
Step 1 Design and determine size of your system
Step 2 Purchase components for solar panels
Step 3 Purchase inverters and racking
Step 4 Install racking
Step 5 Connect solar panels to racking
Step 6 Install solar inverter
1. Design and determine the size of your system based on your energy needs
To determine how many solar panels you will need, you need to know how much energy you plan to use on average per month, and how much sun exposure you can expect throughout the year. Once you know that, you can pick out which brand and model of solar panel will make sense for you.
Learn more: How many solar panels do I need?
If you are building panels for a small project or appliance, you will need fewer panels. Simply determine the kWh the appliance will require, then figure out how many panels to build from there.
2. Purchase the components that make up a solar panel
You will need:
Non-conductive material (wood, glass, or plastic)
Solar cells are what converts the sun’s energy into electricity, each solar panel consists of about 36 solar cells.
Buying pre-soldered tabbing wire will cut some steps out of the process, but you will still need a soldering iron to solder the wiring to the back of the solar cells and string the wire correctly to connect the solar cells.
Non-conductive material to attach the cells to, like wood, glass or plastic
For DIY solar panels, wood usually works best as backing because it is easy to drill holes for the wiring. Once you have your solar cells wired together, you can glue these to the wood backing and then attach all of the wires and solder each solar cell together.
After wiring, you then connect these wires to a charge controller, which regulates the volts of energy. Wood can also be used to build a box to protect the solar cells and then to lay the plexiglass on top for moisture protection.
Seal the solar panel with plexiglass
Once your solar cells are wired and glued to the wood backing, you need to seal them with plexiglass for protection from heat, debris, and moisture.
3. Purchase additional solar equipment like inverters and racking
If you do not trust yourself to build solar panels from scratch, you can purchase a solar panel kit which will come with more specific instructions (and usually racking) to help secure your panels. Purchasing a solar kit might actually be more useful since it will include racking already.
Racking is tricky, you will need to determine which racking equipment works for your specific roof type or ground mount. There is almost an overwhelming amount of options of clamping and mounting equipment available if you look at wholesale distributor sites.
4. Install the racking for your solar panels
When purchasing racking, choosing which option to buy depends on where your panels will go. For instance, will they be ground mounted, or on your RV? This will determine the type of racking you need to buy. Once you pick your racking, you need to map out where you will drill the holes to secure the racking to your structure.
5. Connect the solar panels to the racking equipment
To secure solar panels to the racking equipment, you will need clamps, or connectors, that are made for the racking you choose. Buying them together and from the same distributor is a good way to make sure they are built for each other. Solar panel kits generally come with racking but if you buy everything separately, make sure you do the research to build a fully functioning solar power system.
6. Install the proper solar inverter
Installing a solar inverter takes expertise because it will need to be hooked up the electrical grid. For this, we recommend utilizing the help from a professional installer, as they will do this safely and effectively with the right permits.
Contact Person: Miss. Olivia Lee
Tel: +86 13609052971