Finding and choosing cells for solar panels is the most critical part of making DIY solar panels. This article helps you to prepare and connect solar cells so as to make cheap solar panels at home.
Each type of solar cell has its own individual characteristics. Don’t mix cell types in a single panel – each panel should consist of only one type of cell. Getting to know your cells can save you a lot of money and aggravation in the long run.
Different suppliers may offer the same solar cells, but at very different prices. It pays to look around for the best price. That being said, the quality of the cells and good customer service can be more valuable than low price alone.
Suppliers have different price break points and you should inquire about these. For instance, a solar cell will be reduced in price at a certain quantity. Even if the quantity is more than you need, the price break may be big enough that you would spend less money and get more cells.
Solar cells are fragile and it is important to know about replacement policy and procedure if your cells arrive broken from shipping. Some carriers only insure up to a certain amount, so if your purchase exceeds that amount, get extra coverage for replacement – it’s worth a few extra dollars.
Do not buy cells from anyone if shipping is not insured, or they will not provide replacements for solar cells broken in shipping, when the cells are not being sold as broken cells.
Choose and inspect your cells carefully. As noted previously, solar cells are available in a variety of types and sizes. The prices vary, depending on the supplier and the output of the cell. When you purchase your cells, you should also ask for dead or broken cells.
These are good to use to practice soldering and to get a feel for handling the cells. However, do not use any cells that seem a bit substandard for your panel. Cells that have hairline cracks may appear to be functioning well when you test them initially, but when the panel is exposed to the weather there will be contraction and expansion that can break such cells.
If this happens after you have your panel built and sealed, the solar panel will not work. The entire panel would have to be taken apart to replace the bad cell. So, avoid this problem by carefully inspecting all the cells you are going to use before you solder them together for a panel, and stabilize any cracks in the cells if you are going to use cells with cracks.
When working with PV cells, remember to be gentle with them. They are brittle and crack very, very easily. In particular, when soldering, there is a tendency to apply too much pressure by leaning on them. Also, solar cells are heat sensitive, so it’s important to get a feel for how to solder the connectors to them without damaging the cells with too much heat.
Isn’t it easy to make DIY solar panels? For step by step instruction, visit the exclusive website on Solar Cells & Solar Panels.