What do you need to build your solar panel system?

What do you need to build your solar panel system

Introduction

Building your own photovoltaic (PV) system to harness the power of the sun is a difficult task. Still, it may be a rewarding and enjoyable endeavour for many DIYers or anybody with an interest in engineering. But if you want to create the entire system by yourself, you’ll need to do a lot of research and planning, and get the right permits from your local government.

Along with it, you will require to collect the required tools and resources. If you want to create a panel for a modest project like providing backup power for an RV, it makes the most sense to do it this way. However, we do not advocate that you construct your solar panel system to utilize it in your house since many mistakes may occur and lead to harmful panels.

When greenhouse gases and carbon emissions damage our environment, the shift toward using clean energy is gaining momentum quickly. Since 2011, two-thirds of the solar power capacity deployed worldwide has been done. Thankfully, India has managed to keep up with the fast growth of environmentally friendly solar electricity. According to reports, the amount of electricity generated by solar sources in India had a phenomenal growth of 86 percent in 2017.

Today, we are covering all you need to know about solar panels and how to build them as a DIY project. The information will help you save your efforts and time in researching. This will answer all your questions like how to make a solar panel at home?

Is it possible to build your solar panels?

The answer is yes; it is feasible to construct your solar energy system, including solar panels, from the ground up. However, doing so may be hazardous since poor craftsmanship will inevitably result in breakage and the system’s collapse. Solar panels are assembled by stringing solar cells together using solder, linking the individual strings together, and then connecting the assembled panels to a junction box.

The various components of the solar panel’s working parts must be hermetically sealed after creation in order for them to be waterproof. The front is then protected by having a clear water-resistant substance applied and sealed. Silicon is then utilized to close the discussion around the edges to prevent moisture from entering the structure.

How to make a solar panel at home?

Since much of the work includes soldering solar cells and cables together, creating a single solar panel doesn’t take a lot of technical knowledge. The main difficulty is locating high-quality materials to build the panels with. Because the materials are often acquired ad hoc from a wide variety of wholesalers, it may be challenging to monitor the quality of the product. In addition, the construction of solar panels using equipment of a lower grade might result in broken boards or an increased danger of fire due to poor craft.

Suppose you are interested in constructing your solar panels. In that case, The power needs of smaller projects will remain modest, making do-it-yourself installations more manageable and less likely to fail. Theoretically, the answer of how you can make solar panel at home might not seem easy. But once you get hold of it then you can do it correctly.

Material Required for Building Solar panel system

Solar Cells

Solar power systems rely on photovoltaic cells as their primary source of energy production. A cluster of individual solar cells is composed of a solar panel. An electrical charge is generated inside a cell that is illuminated by light. DIY solar panels for the home could also be used. Your solar panel array can achieve various combinations of volt and ampere ratings, depending on the connections between the solar cells it contains. As a direct consequence of DIY solar panels, the power output ratings of your solar panels might take various forms. You may need to use a combiner box to combine the outputs of many solar panels if you have more than one kind of solar panel. You can also buy solar panels for home.

Charge Controller

The quantity of sunshine that reaches a solar panel array may significantly impact the amount of electricity it generates. Panels generate varying amounts of electricity at various times of the day due to the sun’s movement across the sky over a single day. Without sunshine, cells are unable to produce any useful energy. Let’s say you use solar energy to directly power your electrical devices. In that instance, it’s possible that the device won’t obtain enough power to carry on operating regularly. Consequently, there is a need for a battery to store the electricity.

On the other hand, it must go via a charge controller before reaching a battery. The charge controller is a piece of equipment that ensures that the battery receives the correct amount of power, in terms of both voltage and current, from the solar panels. This is essential for charging batteries securely and effectively.

Battery

The power controlled by a charge controller is transferred to a battery so that it may be stored. A battery’s amp-hour rating determines the amount of energy the storm can hold from a solar power system. Amp hours measure a battery’s capacity to provide a certain amount of electricity in a specific time before recharging. A solar power battery often depletes gradually over several hours rather than quickly over one hour. As a result, a lot of amp-hour numbers are predicated on a 20-hour discharge assumption. For instance, eight amps of current might be supplied for 20 hours by a battery with a 160 amp-hour rating.

Inverter

Direct current, or DC, is the electricity produced by batteries and solar cells. This indicates that there is a unidirectional flow of the stream. However, alternating current, sometimes known as AC, is needed by various electrical components and systems. Alternating current may be obtained, for instance, from the electrical outlets found in a typical home. Because of this, an adaptable solar panel system will contain a power inverter that transforms the direct current (DC) electricity from the battery or solar panels into alternating current (AC) power suited for the electrical infrastructure of a home.

Grid-Tied Systems

Connecting your home’s solar panel array to the electrical grid in the neighborhood could be a good idea in some situations. In this case, the power generated by your solar panels is directly fed into the grid, and your home uses that power. You will typically be charged for the difference between the energy you consume and the energy you produce. Therefore, if you lower your overall power consumption while keeping the output from your system constant, you could make money.

A battery is not required for a system connected to the grid. As a result, the use of a charge controller is not required. However, if there is a disruption to the power grid, it is recommended that you have a battery as well as a charge controller. Your house will still have electricity if you do it this way.

Steps to build your own solar panel

Step 1: Calculate Your Load

Calculating your power load, how long it will operate, and how often it will be used must come before selecting the components. The calculation is pretty straightforward if you have even a rudimentary understanding of mathematics.

  1. Determine which home electronics (lights, fans, televisions, etc.) you want to use and for how long (hours).
  2. For information on the power rating of your appliances, see the specification chart.
  3. Perform the calculation necessary to get the watt-hour, which is equal to the product of the power rating of each of your appliances and the amount of time they are used (hours).
  4. Calculation of the Load Example: If you wish to use a solar panel to power a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) that is 11 watts and run it for 5 hours, then one watt-hour is equivalent to the following: Watt Hour = 11W x 5 hr = 55
  5. Calculate the total Watt Hour. In the same manner, we did with the CFL, we will now calculate the watt-hour used by each appliance and add the results together. Example: CFL = 11W x 5 hour = 55Fan = 50 W x 3hr = 150TV = 80W x 2hr = 160

Total Watt Hours = 55+150+160 = 365

After completing the load computation, the following step is to choose the appropriate components to fulfill the needs posed by the bag.

Step 2: Battery Selection

The solar panel produces electricity of the dc kind as its output. This electricity can only be made during daylight hours. Therefore, if you wish to run a DC load throughout the day, you shouldn’t have too much trouble doing so. However, choosing to act in this manner is not a wise choice because.

  1. Most appliances need a constant rated voltage to function at their optimal level. However, the voltage produced by solar panels is not constant; instead, it changes depending on the amount of light reaching them.
  2. It is not feasible to have the appliances running throughout the night if that is your intention.

Rating of Battery:

The capacity of batteries is measured in terms of the ampere-hour.

Power = Voltage X Current

Watt Hour = Voltage (Volts) x Current (Amperes) x Time (Hours)

Battery Voltage = 12V ( as our system is 12V)

Battery capacity = Load / Voltage = 365/12 = 30.42 Ah

But batteries are not 100 percent efficient, assuming 80 percent efficiency

Capacity = 30.42/0.8 = 38.02 Ah

You may choose a 40Ah deep cycle lead acid battery by leaving some room in your budget.


Step 3: Solar Panel Selection

The next step in the answer of how to make a solar panel at home is the solar panel selection. The solar panel converts sunlight into electrons to generate direct current power (DC). These panels are frequently categorised as monocrystalline or polycrystalline depending on their structural makeup. The cost and energy efficiency of monocrystalline panels are higher than those made of polycrystalline materials. You can buy solar panel for home easily if you know your final choice.

Standard test conditions (STC) are often used for rating solar panels. These circumstances include an irradiance of 1,000 W/m2, a solar spectrum of AM 1.5, and a module temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.

  • Rating of Solar Panel:

The solar panel size should be chosen to completely charge the battery in a single day of sunshine.

The amount of sunlight that hits the earth throughout a 24-hour day is not constant, and it also varies depending on where on the globe you are. Therefore, we may anticipate that there will be four hours of usable sunshine every day, which will result in generating the stated amount of electricity.

Therefore, the overall power output of the Panels= 12V x 40Ah = 480Wh

The amount of power that may be produced in one hour= 480 / 4 = 120W

You can choose a 125 W, 12v solar panel by taking some margin.

Step 4: Charge Controller Selection

A solar charge controller is a piece of equipment connected to a solar panel and then connected to a battery. It does this by controlling the voltage and current produced by your solar panels. It is used to keep the batteries at the appropriate charging voltage. The charge controller will prevent the batteries from being overcharged by regulating the charge sent to the batteries as the input voltage from the solar panel increases.

The charge voltage may be maintained at an ideal level, reducing the time necessary to charge the batteries completely. This is accomplished by essentially turning the extra voltage into amps. Because of this, the solar power system can function at its highest capacity at all times.

Types of Charge Controllers:

  1. ON OFF
  2. PWM
  3. MPPT

It would help if you made every effort to steer clear of the ON/OFF charge controller since it has the lowest efficiency rating.

The MPPT charge controller has the best efficiency of the three types but is also the most expensive. Therefore, you have the option of using PWM or MPPT.

Rating of Charge Controller:

Since our system is rated at 12V, the charge controller is also 12V.

Current rating = Power output of Panels / Voltage = 125 W / 12V = 10.4 A

Therefore, choose a Charge Controller with 12 volts and greater amperage than 10.4A.

Step 5: Inverter Selection

Direct current (DC) power is produced when the photons from the sun are captured by solar panels (PV) and then converted (DC). An apparatus known as an inverter is used to complete the transformation from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). The appliances in your house are powered by the alternating current (AC) energy that travels through every socket in your home.

Step 6: Mounting the Solar Panel

The next stage after designing the solar panel system is to buy every component with the correct rating in accordance with the earlier methods.

Step 7: Series and Parallel Connection

You must connect the battery and solar panel after figuring out their capacities. Many times, a single unit of the anticipated solar panel size or battery capacity is not easily accessible on the market. This might apply to both batteries and solar panels. You must set up either a tiny solar panel or batteries in order to satisfy the needs of your system. We will have to employ series and parallel connections to get the desired voltage and current rating.

1. Series Connection:

To wire any device in a series, you must connect the first device’s positive terminal to the negative terminal that comes after it. The equipment in question here may be a battery or a solar panel.

2. Parallel Connection:

The positive terminal of the first device must be connected to the positive terminal of the next device in a parallel connection. Likewise, the first device’s negative terminal needs to be linked to the second device’s negative terminal.

Step 8: Inverter and Battery Stand

You need a secure stand to keep the battery, inverter, and wiring safe and secure from water.

Step 9: Wiring

We will wire up the Charge Controller as the very first component. My charge controller has three separate indicators, three of which are at the very bottom. The Solar Panel of the solar panel system is connected to the one that is the first from the left, and it has both positive and negative signals on it. The second one, which has a plus sign (+) and a negative sign (-), is for the connection to the battery. The last one is for the link to the direct DC load, such as DC lighting.

Are you skilled enough to build your solar panels?

Solar panels may be assembled with a reasonable amount of ease; nevertheless, they need to be made with exceptional accuracy to continue functioning over an extended length of time. Solar panels must also maintain their structural integrity even when exposed to extreme weather and extended exposure to heat and sunlight.

Regarding DIY solar panels, safety should be your priority. They are susceptible to being ruined by moisture, and if they are not constructed correctly, there is a risk that they might catch fire due to the heat of the sun. In addition, soldering and electrical wiring may be complex skills to master, and an experienced electrician or engineer often needs the expertise to do it successfully.

To construct a system, one must be willing to study, admit defeat when one makes a mistake, and develop expertise in the art of electrical wiring and soldering procedures. Therefore, if you are an experienced engineer or electrician, this might be a little bit easier to understand; but, it is not something that someone can do themselves over the weekend.

What are the pros and cons of DIY solar panels and solar systems?

Most do-it-yourself projects include positives and negatives, but since solar systems provide your house with power, having correctly manufactured panels is vital. It is the difference between being able to save a few thousand dollars and having solar panels in your solar panel system that you are confident will be safe.

As can be seen, the drawbacks significantly exceed the benefits.

Pros and cons of building your solar system
ProsCons
Plans and instructions are availableCan cause fires
It can be a great learning experienceMaterials can be poor quality or sold second-hand

Pros 

  • Plans and instructions may be easily found and downloaded from the internet at a price close to nothing. Therefore, it is not impossible to construct a panel by following the outlined procedures, but doing so is a significant undertaking that has to be taken on.
  • Building your solar panels for use in off-grid or self-sufficient projects may be a very educational endeavor in and of itself. This may be a fascinating task for you if you have an engineering mentality and are interested in learning more about solar panels function.

Cons 

  • On bright days with high temperatures, improperly constructed homemade solar panels may start fires owing to the tremendous heat generated by the boards.
  • Suppose you decide to purchase pre-owned items from online marketplaces such as eBay. You’ll probably end up with manufacturing rejects, broken solar cells, or factory seconds in such situation. Buying any of these parts will likely cause the system to malfunction.
  • In many cases, homemade systems contravene electrical rules, which might cause difficulties when applying for permits. It is much simpler to entrust the management of electrical regulations to a solar provider.
  • Incentives such as the federal tax credit and rebates, which contribute to the overall cost reduction of residential solar energy systems, are not available for panels built at home.
  • Any warranty on components will be voided, and manufacturer guarantees will often only be honored if the product is professionally installed.
  • There’s a possibility that the amount of money you save won’t last very long. If your panels break, you will be responsible for the expense of replacing them. Besides, conferences produced at home won’t endure nearly as long as panels built by professionals.

Conclusion

Your house will generate its emission-free, environmentally friendly power when you get solar panels installed. If you’re handy around the house, you may build your own solar energy system. Building your own solar panel system may be an option in some cases, but how much power you actually need will determine how much solar energy you can effectively produce for your home.

The process of building a solar panel takes time and requires some electrical wiring expertise. Building your own photovoltaic (PV) panel is a terrific method to understand how solar energy is converted into usable power and may be challenging but also highly gratifying. The above mentioned details will be able to provide you detailed answer of- how to make a solar panel at home?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar