How to Build a Solar Panel

Building a solar panel is not that complicated a feat. It is an ideal source of energy for regions occupied by afro-descendants.

Cost has gone down for parts to build a solar panel. Ironically, Germany a country in the northern zone, where an afro-descendant with high melanin skin concentration can develop Vitamin D deficiency, due to lack of sunlight, makes the greatest use of solar energy in the world.

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technological self-sufficiency



Parts of a Solar System
  1. Power Source (solar panel)
  2. Charge Controller
  3. Battery Banks
  4. Inverter

Power comes from the Solar Panel. Solar in the tropical zone is almost abundant 365 days a year. 

Electrical Tips

Car battery can be used, but won't last long. It has thin strips of lead, not meant to be re-used for more than 30 to 100 cycles. It was made for producing high amperage and have lights running for half hour.

From the power source(Solar Panel) a cable is run to the Charge Controller. The Charge Controller regulates the charging of the Deep Cycle Batteries. It prevents the Deep Cycle Batteries from being overcharge or undercharge.

From the Charge Controller a cable is run to the Battery Banks. The batteries are Deep Cycle batteries. They can be damaged by being over-charged and under-charge. The Charge Controller prevents the latter. 

Next, connected to the Battery Banks is the Inverter. The Inverter converts the DC current into an AC current, so it can be utilize by regular appliances.


Three types of cell are used in solar panels: amorphous cell, monocrystalline or hexagone cell, and polycrystalline.

Amorphous cells are the cheapest, least efficient, and deposited on glass. They are very portable and durable.

Electrical Tips

(1) If acid is spilled from a battery, it can be neutralized with common household baking soda. Always have baking soda near you when dealing with batteries.

(2) Improperly charged battery can produce hydrogen , a very flammable gas. A spark or lighter can set-off hydrogen. Keep batteries outside or in a well ventilated space.

Monocrystalline or hexagon cells are the most expensive.

This article will use polycrystalline cells. Polycrystalline cells are about 1.5 to 2 watts a piece. They come in lots of 100 or other combinations. Most cost $2 USD a piece. They are fragile or break easily.

They are .5 volts a piece. To get higher voltages, cells must be connected together in series. To get 18 volts to 20 volts 36 to 40 cells is connected in series. Item needed will be:

  1. Voltmeter
  2. Tabbing wire
  3. Bus wire
  4. Soldering iron 60 watt
  5. Flux pen (opens cell accept better soldering joints)
The cell is negative in the front and positive at the back. Cells are connected in a positive and negative sequence via tabbing wire(series).

Tabbing wire must be cut twice the length of  the cell. All tabbing wire should be cut ahead of project. Solder the tabbing wire along the largest white groove of the  front cell and solder the remaining tabbing wire to the back of the second cell. Extra solder should first be placed in the joints, before soldering the tabbing wire.

Cells should be tested as one goes on by placing connected cells in the sun and measured with a voltmeter.

Electrical Tips

Many UPS devices have inverters that are usable. To make re-usabe, one can just take out the battery. In developed countries many can be found in recycle centers.

Cells are then encased in a frame or in any resin, wax, or acrylic. Most panels are 36 cells or 18 volt panels.

Add blocking diode so batteries won't drain and voltage goes in one direction. If one has  a charge controller to the batteries, or an inverter , a diode will not be necessary. Charge controllers and inverters have the diode functionality built in.


Number of cells needed

To calculate the number of cells needed to generate a certain amount of voltage, divide the number of volts of the cell into the total number of voltage one wants generated. If I wanted to generate 100 volts from my panel, how many solar cells will I need to connect together, with .5 volt per cell? Divide 100 volts / .5 volts = 200 cells. 

To get number of cells needed to generate 18 volts, divide 18 volts / .5 volt = 36 cells
To get number of cells needed to generate 20 volts, divide 20 volts / .5 volt = 40 cells


Watts or power is calculated by multiplying current in amps by voltage in volts. If a device uses 5 amps and 12 volts, it uses 60 watts of power-- 5 amps X 12 volts.


Encapsulation is placing the solar cells in a panel or protective component from the environment. 2x4 lumber is used to create the sides of the frame. The lumber should cast minimal shadow on the cells. Lumber should also be water proof with a resin. The front part of the soldered cells is place on the glass. Strapping tape is used to tape the soldered cells to the glass frame. After taping, a resin (preferably water and uv resistant) is added to the surface area on the back.


The following is a sample wiring of a solar panel system:

Power Usage of popular appliance

Appliance Watts
refrigerator  200 watts
air conditioner  500 watts
incandescent light 105 watts
led bulb 15 watts
laptop computer 45 watts
television 32" LCD 156 watts

Works Cited

Rojas, Dan. Make Your Own Solar Panel, Green Power Science, website
Rojas, Dan. Less than $1 a watt DIY Make Your Own Solar Panel (prt 1). website
Rojas, Dan. Less than $1 a watt DIY solar Panel Panel Part 2website:

Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 1, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 2
, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 3
, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 4
, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 11, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 12, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 13, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 14, on Youtube. website
Smith, Robert. How to buid a Solar Panel Part 15, on Youtube. website