How To Build Solar Panels

We tested 11 solar panel kits so that you don’t have to!

I built a solar panel and I want to build a stand that can rotate towards the direction of the sun, and I don’t know how, do that’s why I’m asking.

Get a 4 wheel furniture dolly. Attach another board across the center. Make a hole in the center board to fit over a piece of pipe that you pound into the ground. Place dolly over pipe and rotate as needed. You will have to figure out how to attach the solar panel to the dolly. It will stay in the same place and rotate only.

How do you build a solar panel at home?

Posted by admin on May-27-2013

I need instructions on how to build a small cheap solar panel from easily obtainable materials.

Really can’t. Solar cells are made from purified silicon and other materials in very expensive factories, because the process involves precision mechanics and special chemicals. Not something you can do at home.

The instruction you can find online are actually to construct a solar panel from solar cells. That is like wiring batteries in series and parallel, a lot different from actually making the cells, which is what you seem to be asking for.

How do you like these green building ideas?

Posted by admin on Apr-20-2013

I think they should make new building codes that incorporate all these ideas into new building codes

solar panels
wind generators
passive ventilation
rainwater collection
super glass
geothermal heating pumps
solar heating
compact florescent bulbs

There are building codes that require all buildings to have bathrooms and fire exits. You can no longer have an outhouse and just one door. If buildings have to abide by those standards, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t abide by these in my book. What do you think?

Where I live there is a five star rating on all new housing so people have to install either solar or a rainwater tank. In europe there is even a 10 star rating system. As we are in a long term drought our water use is limited and many people use a grey water system for flushing their toilets and watering their garden. Solar passive design of a house can go a long way to reducing its energy needs and requires being smart rather than costing a lot. The retrofitting of existing housing stock is expensive but there are many simple inexpensive things you can do like switching off lights and unused appliances at the socket, install a reduced flow shower head and a dual flush toilet. Check the energy use of appliances before you buy them. If you’re cold put on a jumper before you crank up the heating. If a room is always hot grow a tree or vines outside to cut out the sun. Buy second hand and choose items without packaging and that are produced locally. It’s about your behaviour as much as the buildings you live in.

does anyone know why you can buy solar lights with built in solar panel and others come with large seperate solar panel with wire?does it mean the ones with seperate solar panel will be more powerful i.e brighter?

They may be more powerful, but it could just be the design, or a lower cost modification that a manufacturer has made, from a mains powered type, to make it run off solar.

Sometimes the panels are larger, and can generate more power. But youll need to check the specifications of the light as well as the batteries. I often improve the light shining hours by adding alternative rechargeable batteries, with a higher spec type, as they often ship with basic cheap batteries. It’s easy to double the light hours this way, often at little cost.

But youre right first to focus on the spec of the panel charger, as whether it charges a lot or not will determine how long your battery can run the light for. Some products show clear details, though others dont - I steer clear of poorly labelled products, as I like to know what Im buying. Check also the type of battery it uses too, as many use AA type etc, which can be bought reasonably cheaply, if you want to ‘upgrade’ the lit hours of your light. Charge them first in a charger if possible, to give then a complete charge.

Hope this helps. Good luck! Rob

I am very interested in making solar panels in Karachi, Pakistan. But cant figure out where i get solar cells? If there is some DIY methods please tell me.

you do google search and contact the companies which manufactures solar panel..or contact an expert in this field..

250 watt hps HiD light , solely on solar panels , inside my out building running from 3 - 18 hours per day.

Hey Wm, a 250 watt Hi Energy Discharge light? Is that outdoors for security? You said 3 to 18 hours per day, so I guess you’re thinking indoors. You can make a lot better use of lighting indoors if you use task lighting instead of whole house. I’ve wired a number of barns and outbuildings for friends and myself with solar, but we never use such a large light bulb.

For discussion, let’s assume that HiD will be on 6 hours per day. 250 watts X 6 = 1.5 kwh per day. If you have average solar insolation of 4 hours per day, then in theory you would need 400 watts of solar. In reality, there are always some losses at the battery, and inverter, plus you need to have extra to recover from several days of clouds. Something closer to 600 watts would be more accurate. Next question is how many days without good sun will you need the light? Let’s say three for example, (This is called "Days of Autonomy,") Your battery will need 4 days worth, or 6 kwh. You could pull this off with 6 golf cart batteries, just barely.

If you’re wondering about cost, 600 watts of solar will probably run $2,000 USD, the batteries another $600, and maybe $ 200 for parts and an inexpensive inverter. Kind of expensive for one light bulb. The barns I’ve wired use 4 golf cart batteries and one 120 watt panel. Since the panel has a maximum current of 7 amps and the batteries hold 440 amp hours, we don’t need a charge controller. The rule of thumb is nothing over 2% of the battery AH capacity, so 440 AH X 2% = 8.8 amps maximum solar current. You can read more about this in Richard Perez’s book, I’ll list it below. Then we use a 750 watt modified sine wave inverter to run a few circuits of 18 watt CF outdoor spot lamps in standard sockets. This makes the entire project easy to wire up, with parts that can be purchased inexpensively off the shelf. And since we have a couple long strings of spot lamps in 2 places, plus a couple work area lights, and maybe a trouble light on a long cord, we don’t need 1.5 kwh per day, it’s more like one third that amount. The panel, batteries, inverter and other wiring parts cost less than $1000 USD. Then, in the daytime, we also have the ability to run small hand tools with the same inverter, like a drill or hand saw. Also, at night, we can plug in several strings of LED Christmas lights for partys, or whatever. You just can’t run these things all night every night. Another advantage of using 12 volts as the battery bank voltage is if you run low, you can recharge with a vehicle and jumper cables for a spell, or a small generator. So you have more flexibility with less cost.

Another consideration is low voltage LED lights. Our home uses small 12 volt strips under the kitchen cabinets, and in the bedrooms. They use very small amounts of power, maybe 1 or 2 watts per string, never burn out, and don’t cost any more than 20 watt hockey puck lights with holagen bulbs. There are lots of possibilities, but I’d think twice about that behemoth of a light you’re planning on using. I’ll list some good sources below to check out. Take care Wm, Rudydoo

I want to build a solar panel with a bunch of solar cells that I have and all together produce 18v and 1.25amps. My battery is 18v and 3.2 amps. So am I correct by assuming that it will take roughly 3 times longer than normal to charge my laptop battery under perfect solar conditions?

You will need a higher voltage than the battery to recharge it.

As the applied voltage increases current will begine to flow into the battery in the reverse direction from when it discharges. The amount of current used during charge will depend upon how much additional voltage above the battery potential is applied, the internal resistance of the battery, and the abiiity of the charger to supply the current at the rated voltage.

The amp rating of the charger is a capability of the charger to supply upto the rated current while being able to supply the rated voltage.
If your battery demands more current than your charger can supply the charging voltage will be pulled down to a lower potential. Conversly if the battery doesn’t demand much current only the amount of current required by the battery will be drawn from the charger.


I really need it for a project. The architecture of it is well known, and the name was in French.
The building was entirely made out of solar panels and has a hyperbola curve to it.
If someone touches it, that person could die from excessive heat.

Anyone have a clue?

"If someone touches it, that person could die from excessive heat"
there is no way that could be true. No matter how hot it is, touching it could do no more than burn your finger.

Very few solar houses are made of curved panels, as they would have to be specially made. See the reference for the only one I could find, scroll down to the bottom of the page. But that one has no solar panels, it is merely a non-functional model.


can’t astronauts build giant solar panels that orbit the sun, and then using this massive amount of energy find a way to replace nonrenewable resources?

LOLOLOLOL. Solar energy will be more available once people are willing to spend lots of money up front to buy and install solar panels. As to the solar panels orbiting the sun, yes we could build them and put them in space, but there is no reliable way to get that energy back to earth. Just because you can harvest the energy doesn’t mean you can get it somewhere useful. As for the nonrenewable resources, the ones that most people worry about replacing are the types that are the hardest to convert (cars and large powerplants). Also it would cost about 5 times what NASA is currently getting for funding.

If you take a 0.5 volt with 830 milliamp would that be better than a 6.0 volt with 16 milliamp. Trying to build solar panels but not sure which way to go.

It is very difficult to make a low voltage do anything, so if you have a choice, you’d want to go for the 6 volts. The closer you can come to the target voltage for the device you want to power, the better. So if you’re powering something that normally plugs into USB, 5 volts would be a good choice, but with more current than 16 mA.