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Solar power systems can be very affordable if you can apply a little elbow grease. By constructing solar energy panels yourself, you can a truckload of money on expensive setups and installation. You can also experience the joy of creating something useful.

A typical solar power generator costs at least $35,000 to $40,000 for a complete set up in a regular-sized home. You also have to consider maintenance costs. And if the panels break for whatever reason, you’ll need to spend money to replace them.

For many homeowners, their main aim of using solar energy panels is to be able to harvest the freely available energy from the sun. Then at some point in time (usually 10 to 15 years) their photovoltaic panels will eventually pay back the price they were bought for. This is commonly known as the payback period. It’s at this time when the owners start seeing financial benefits coming from their solar energy panels. Sadly, most of us will not have the patience to wait that long to experience the benefits.

By making your own solar panel, you can possibly shorten the payback period by a good ten years. This is because homemade solar energy panels cost much lesser. Thus even if the energy production is not superior to commercial panels, their payback period can be reduced dramatically.

Each piece of solar energy panel you build may cost less than $200 if you know how. This is a big contrast from professionally made panels. The entire construction process is simple and can be learnt from a DIY solar instructional manual. With nothing more than glass, plywood and some other commonly found parts, you can make an energy producing photovoltaic panel that can probably last you for two decades.

A possible challenge when making your own solar energy panel is where to source for cheap and reliable solar cells. This is because solar cells are the most important components of a solar power generator and cheap ones are not commonly found. This information can be found in good instructional guides. In fact, these guides can lead you step-by-step to complete your first homemade solar energy panel even if you have got no prior experience in DIY projects.

If you love the benefits of using solar power and want to build them yourself, here are the basic steps to do it:

1. Get enough solar cells so you can join them together in an array to produce sufficient voltage per PV panel.

2. Get some plywood or metal and build a panel frame to house the solar cells.

3. Prepare a piece of glass (or acrylic) to cover the panel frame. This piece of glass protects the solar cells from precipitation and allows sunlight to enter at the same time.

4. If you are using solar energy panels to charge up a battery bank, you’ll need to buy a suitable charge controller.

5. As your wire up your hardware to the mains, you’ll have to get an inverter with sufficient power rating so direct current (DC) from the solar energy panels can be converted into alternating current (AC).

With the brief outline above, you can get an idea of how to make your own solar energy panels. But if you are serious about making a professional looking set of photovoltaic panels, you have to know how professionals build them.

There are many excellent DIY guides that spill the beans on techniques that work. WIth these tips, you can build each photovoltaic panel for less than $200. These panels can also last for more than 25 years if you build them properly.

If you are a beginner or have never handled DIY projects before, these guides are the right resource for you. Even if you have extensive experience building DIY projects, you’ll find valuable insider secrets that can help you save tons of money as you bring your project to completion.

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Filed under: Solar Buying Guide