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Is there a way to make solar panels cheap? If you are like most people, you would love to take advantage of the sun's natural energy and power. It is clean. It is renewable. It is available every day, free to everyone... For many people, however, the initial investment of buying and installing solar panels is a major expense that remains out of reach. You are wondering if there is a way to make solar panels cheap, making it possible for you to power your home for a fraction of your current costs.
The answer is yes. A very simple step-by step guide for this process would be:
1. Create modules by soldering multiple cells.
That's not a very detailed explanation, and it probably won't help you if you aren't familiar with solar energy and how it works. Let's look at the process in detail then...
While manufactured solar panels are often far from cheap, before you start to make a solar panel, investigate your options and understand the various methods of production. Commercially constructed solar panels begin with a single solar cell. The electricity produced by a solar panel always originates within the cell. The most commonly used elements in the creation of solar cells are mono-crystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide. These materials, either in bulk or thin film state, are layered to create an individual cell. Each of these materials has its' own list of benefits and drawbacks, when it comes to the ability to create photovoltaic energy. Some of these materials work by harnessing the sun's natural radiation, yet others create electricity through the use of light itself. While you probably will not be makeinging your own cells, it is always beneficial to understand the nature and make-up of the materials with which you will be working.
Once the cell has been constructed, it is joined to others cells, in order to create small modules. These modules are then joined together and placed in a non-conductive frame, creating what we call a solar panel. A solar panel, then, is simply a solar module which has been mounted to a frame. Once construction of the entire panel is complete, it is covered with a sheet of glass or plexiglass, in order to protect the fragile solar cells. Commercially manufactured solar panels range in size and wattage production. Visit the US Department of Energy's web-site to find free resources that can help you determine the amount of voltage needed to power your home.
While the cost of new solar cells can vary, used cells are becoming more readily available. These cells can be obtained in quantity, often for less than $10.00 a box. A quick search of the internet will provide you with multiple options for obtaining used solar panels. Purchasing used cells is perfectly acceptable, and in fact doing so is crucial, especially if you want to make a solar panel for as cheap as possible. Select cells which, when joined together on the panel, will produce enough wattage to power your home. If possible inspect the cells before purchasing. It is important to ensure that they have metal tabs, and that those tabs are still in tact. The tabs enable the cells to be soldered together into modules. Keep in mind that the cells are easily damaged, so a gentle hand is important for successful construction of your module.
The frame, which will support your solar module, should be made of non-conductive material; plastic or wood are both good options. As with cells, the materials you select to make the frame do not have to be new or expensive. If you select to use wood in constructing your frame, make sure to weather proof exposed surfaces.
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