Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Your Own Solar Panels

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    • 1). Cut a sheet of plywood to the size you want your solar panel to be. Apply one coat of all-weather paint and wait for it to dry. Apply a second coat of all-weather paint and wait for it to dry. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a grid on the plywood to guide the placement of the solar cells.

    • 2). Solder two flat-tabbed wires to the back of each solar cell. The length of wire should be double that of the length of the solar cell.

    • 3). Place the solar cells on the plywood, and solder the flat-tabbed wires from the back of one solar cell to the next until the are all connected. Leave a 3-inch border around the edge of the plywood.

    • 4). Lift each solar cell once they have been soldered together and put a small drop of silicone sealant in the middle of each cell. Press it firmly onto the plywood and wait for the sealant to dry.

    • 5). Attach the positive lead from one solar cell to the negative lead of another. Attach the negative lead from the first solar cell to the positive lead of the other. Repeat until all solar cells are wired together, and only one positive and one negative lead remains at the bottom.

    • 6). Solder the remaining positive and negative leads to separate pieces of insulated copper wire. The length of the insulated copper wire will depend on the placement of the solar panel to be connected to the power system.

    • 7). Cut four 1-by-1-inch boards to fit around the border of the plywood. Apply strips of silicone sealant around the border of the plywood, and press the boarder boards into place on the front of the plywood around the solar cells. Wait for the silicone sealant to dry.

    • 8). Drill pilot holes through the back of the plywood and into the border boards. Do not puncture through to the other side of the border board. Insert screws into the holes and screw the border boards in place.

    • 9). Drill two holes through the bottom border board and run the positive and negative leads connected to the insulated copper wire through them. Fill the holes with silicone sealant to keep the wires in place. Drill a third hole on the bottom border board. This is a drain hole for condensation. Do not fill it with silicone sealant.

    • 10

      Cut a sheet of Plexiglas to the size of the plywood solar panel so that it will fit evenly onto the border boards on the front of the plywood. Apply silicone sealant around the front of the border boards, and press the sheet of Plexiglas into place. Wait for the silicone sealant to dry.

    • 11

      Drill pilot holes through the Plexiglas and into the border boards. Do not puncture through the border boards and out the back of the plywood. Screw the Plexiglas into place on the border boards.

    • 12

      Put the solar panel into position, and run it to the home power system with the insulated copper wires protruding from the bottom.

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