Cost of a DIY Solar Panel
Lets ignore the price of your time. This is a listing of the materials required:
– Clear plexiglass or low iron solar glass 2ft x 4ft x 1/4in $34 or more
– 3/4in 2ft x 4ft plywood panel $23
– Solar panel kit (eBay) $119, comprising:
– 50 Solar panels each 3in x 6in, 1.75w, pre-tabbed
– 10ft tabbing wire and 10ft bus wire,
– Flux pen and solder
– Peg board 2 panels 2ft x 2ft $5
– Clear silicone caulk/sealant $3
– Junction box $5
– Paint, stainless screws, wood for frame $10
– Diodes $3
Total cost $202. Remove $20 for the 10 extra solar panels which are not required, provides total of $182 for the materials to create a 60 watt solar panel. This works out at $3 per watt.
Cost of Factory Made Panels
If you do a casual search on the Internet, most solar panels work-out at $5 – $7.50 per watt. But we ferreted around and found a 120watt panel for $358 retail, equal to $2.98 per watt. Additionally there are several wholesalers willing to sell direct to the general public, and minimum order quantities is often as low as two panels. We found a 225watt solar panel wholesale for $549 (min order 2 panels), equal to $2.44 per watt.
Warnings & Dangers of DIY Solar Panels
Also, if you should be contemplating making your own personal solar panels to cut the price of your solar energy house, please be aware of these:
– In the US, you’ll NOT be allowed to get in touch your house made solar panels to the grid. If you like your solar energy house to be connected to the grid, you should use solar panels with UL certification. Many countries have similar regulations.
– Commercially manufactured solar panels include 25 year performance guarantees. DIY solar panels haven’t any guarantees and will likely last just a few years at best.
– With any home made solar panel there’s a danger of fire from poor quality soldering. If your DIY solar panel ignited and led to fire damage to your dwelling, your insurance company might be a little reluctant to pay for out for a fire caused by a solar panel that did not need UL certification.
– And the ultimate nail in the coffin of a home made solar energy house: in the US, home made solar panels will NOT qualify for the significant rebates and tax credits which are available.
If you like solar panels for the solar energy house and want a system that is safe, reliable, qualifies for rebates and will really cut your electricity bills, forget DIY. DIY could be a great introduction to understanding what it means to truly have a solar energy house, but it’s not a viable alternative to factory made solar panels.
Create a Solar Panel as a Science or DIY Project
However, if you wish to make your own personal solar panel as a research project, this is often fun, satisfying and very rewarding. On completion you will even have a solar panel you are able to show off to your pals and something make use of to offer light for a lawn, shed or outbuilding.
If you wish to create a solar panel as a research project, consider buying among the “how too make solar panels” guides. A few of these are excellent and do a fantastic job of showing you (they involve some excellent videos) what direction to go, how to complete it and when to do. Yes, a guide will add $40 – $50 to the cost, but that could be money perfectly spent, just don’t fall for all your marketing hype!
If you’ll need a solar energy home and to lessen your electricity bills, forget the DIY route. But, although you won’t conserve money or reduce your electricity bill, building a solar panel within a research project must certanly be very satisfying and educational. If you don’t want to pay the $40 – $50 for among the DIY solar panel guides, there is a lot of info on the Internet. I wish every success together with your Solar Energy House.