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Solar panels have helped in the
investigation of space for decades
and many people never realized how this
complicated technology can be simplified
to make solar panels at home
powering the average home’s
needs for electricity.

Learning how to build your own solar panel will require many of the tools and resources of the garage, and a few materials that can be sourced from recycling centers or eBay.  No-one has to have an engineering degree or masters in workshop, just the desire to make an alternative power source, a few dollars, and a couple of days of free time.

Make a list of materials first and set out to source them:
– Wooden boxing
– Plastic paneling
– Black paint
– Waterproof sealant such as silicone
– Solder
– Glue
– Wiring
– And last but not least, the cells that need to be joined together.

Select the ones that have tabs already and don’t go for the cheapest. The number needed will depend on how much power is expected to be generated, and make an allowance for the fact that the best DIY systems usually only deliver 80 per cent of the output claimed.

Learning how to put it together is just like doing a jigsaw. At this stage, learning how to build a solar panel is about as easy as doing a jigsaw. Secure the cells together in place in a series of 36 – 6×6 is the most effective and join the tabs to ensure that the flow of electricity flows only in one direction. Place it on a backing board and secure it onto a wooden box or frame.  Paint it all black, not the PV cells though, and then cover the face with a plastic or Perspex panel for protection. Screw it down and seal round the edges with silicone.

Then you will need to connect your project to a storage battery or series of batteries, to harness your power and store it for when you need it.  These can then be designed with regulators to control the flow of power over time, for during the night, or on cloudy afternoons.  Most people will opt to consult an electrician at this stage. The whole process will take a weekend at most, and is neither backbreaking, nor too taxing on the brain.


Installation on the roof requires a sunny spot, not shaded by trees or other buildings. They do have to face towards the sun.  If you live in the southern hemisphere then put the panels facing north, and vice versa for the northern hemisphere in a southerly direction to maximize the sun’s rays.

Wiring will need to be insulated and it is best to insulate the back of the mounted box as well, to avoid heat energy loss. Understanding how to build a solar panel and that it is simple, should not disguise the fact that these are serious contributors to the home’s energy demands.

In an era where non renewable energy is seeing wilderness areas under threat from mining activity, and the oceans polluted with spilled oil, any attempt to provide a workable alternative must be welcomed.

Solar power is just one of the options that is environmentally friendly and neutral in operation. Bear in mind that solar energy is not just about cheap power but the reduced impact on the environment for generations to come!

The sun is always going to be there for the likely existence of mankind, and it is never going to be charged for by a utility company. How to build a solar panel can be a fun project for the whole family to assist in, and a real supply of alternative energy for the environmentally conscious.



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