Filed under: Build Solar Panel Questions, DIY Solar Panels, Green Power Easy Questions
When it comes to the topic of building solar panels, one thing that worries some is whether or not they’ll be able to accomplish the task. From the very beginning with Green Power Easy, our intention was to make DIY Solar and Wind power so easy that anyone can do it, and to prove just how easy our instruction was we had our site manager record our solar panel video series.
Just so that everyone knows, Trevas Walker, our site manager, is a freelance writer and marketer who worked with us to get Green Power Easy noticed when we were making our guides publicly available. Before the work he did with us he had never even seen a solar panel, let alone built one.
The reason we had Trevas create our solar panel videos is quite simple: We wanted to show the world that anyone could build a fully functional solar panel for less that $150! Using the Green Power Easy guides, Trevas took the instructions laid out for him and recorded it as he worked through the steps required to build a complete 100 Watt solar panel.
The result was the best solar panel video series available anywhere – period, but we also proved that anyone can use the Green Power Easy guides to build their own solar panels.
For those that aren’t yet Green Power Easy members, here’s what one member had to say about our guides and our videos:
“I purchased the Green Power Easy Guide. It is outstanding. I purchased two others that don’t come close. The download worked great, videos were outstanding on the Solar Panels.” Ricky Powers – Quote Taken from an Email Received March 03, 2009
Building Solar Panel Videos – An Overview
The solar panels videos are included with Green Power Easy membership, and they cover building a 100 Watt solar panel from start to finish. The video series is divided into four parts to make them simpler to view. In total the solar panel video series are over 1 hour in length.
Here’s an overview of everything you can expect to learn with the solar panel videos from Green Power Easy.
Video one of the solar panel series covers the parts you’ll need to build your solar panels. Along with showing you the parts he used in the videos, Trevas also covers the ins and outs of choosing different parts for you panels.
In video 2, you’ll learn how to tab solar cells and connect them together in a series. This part of building a solar panel is probably the most time consuming as it involves soldering wires to each solar cell and then connecting them. This is also that part of the task that most people find intimidating, and it’s one of the reasons we choose to add a video series to teach you exactly how it’s done. With the right instruction, anyone can tab solar cells, and this video provides the right instruction!
When you get to video 3, you’ll be building the solar panel itself. This part of the task is actually quite simple, it’s just putting everything together and wiring the series together the right way.
Finally in the last building solar panels video, you’ll watch as Trevas tests the finished panel and then walks through the steps needed to finish it up. The video also includes some great tips to take your learning further.
How Easy Is It To Build A Solar Panel?
Going back to the original question – how easy is it to build a solar panel? The truth is that if you start with the right instruction, anyone can do it. If a freelance writer from Canada can take our guides and create a complete instructional video series (that our members rave about), then you can build solar panels for your home.
By choosing to build your own solar panels you’ll save thousands over the cost of buying them, and you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you were an integral part of making the world a little greener place.
As I already stated though, it does start with the right instruction. You can get that instruction by becoming a Green Power Easy member.
Filed under: Alternative Energy Questions, Build Solar Panel Questions, DIY Solar Panels
One question that we are often asked is how many solar panels will I need to convert my entire home? Answering this question directly is actually quite difficult because there are too many factors involved.
First there are questions that need to be answered:
How much power do you use daily?
With a range in power consumption in North America between < 1KW hour per day and up to 40 or 50 KW hours per day – it’s impossible to answer the question without first looking at how much power you use.
Is there a difference in power consumption for your home between the seasons?
It isn’t enough to just average your power usage for a year. Do you use more energy in the summer months from an AC unit? Or do you live in a colder climate where the furnace motor runs a lot during the winter?
Do you plan to go off grid, or are you just trying to reduce your power bill?
Another important element to be considered is what your intention is when you convert to solar power. If you plan to go off grid you should allow for extra power production. That is, since solar power will be your only source of energy you should increase the amount of panels you use, and you should ensure your battery bank is large enough to store power to cover you energy needs for at least three days.
Can you reduce your energy consumption?
It’s also important to first look at how you can reduce your energy needs. Most North American homes use too much energy in the first place. An energy efficient home may use as little as 1-2 KW hours of energy per day. On the other end of the spectrum, a home that isn’t efficient may use 25 – 50 times that much.
To reduce the overall cost of your solar energy system, and to reduce the maintenance required to keep that system up, it’s important to look at ways to reduce your energy consumption before you calculate the number of solar panels you need. In many cases you may be able to reduce your power requirements by as much as 50%.
The Bottom Line:
If you’ve been asking the question yourself – how many solar panels will I need? You should start with the Green Power Easy guide. It covers many different ways to cheaply (and effectively) reduce the amount of power that you use. Once you’ve done that you should move onto the Green Power Easy implementation guide. It lays out the exact steps you should take to calculate the size of your solar energy system.
If you aren’t yet a Green Power Easy member, you can get your guides by clicking here.