With electricity rates constantly rising, installing DIY solar panels can be a great way to save money on your electric bill in the long run. DIY solar panels are affordable, easy to build with common tools, and can provide free electricity from the sun once installed. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through all the steps necessary and considerations needed to successfully build your own low cost DIY solar panel system.

Gather the Necessary Materials and Tools

The first step is acquiring all the necessary materials and tools to build the DIY solar panels. Here is what you will need:



Plan the Panel Size and Layout

Once you have all the components, the next step is planning the overall size of the panel and laying out where all the solar cells will go.

Some guidelines when planning:

Here is an example layout diagram for a 36 cell panel with 6 cells in series:

Solar panel layout

Make sure to refer to your planned diagram frequently as you wire up the panel.

Mount the Solar Cells

With your layout complete, it's time to mount the solar cells to the backing board.

Follow these steps:

The silicone caulk will provide adhesion as well as waterproofing for the panel backing.

Wire the Solar Cells in Series

Wiring the solar cells together in series is a crucial step to build the proper voltage and power output.

Follow these basic steps:

Refer frequently to your diagram while wiring and double check the polarity of each connection.

Weatherproof and Enclose the Panel

Now that the cells are wired up, you need to seal up the panel to protect it from the elements:

The plexiglass provides a transparent protective barrier while silicone caulk weatherproofs the panel.

Connect the Wiring and MC4 Connectors

To complete the electrical connections:

With the MC4 connectors installed, you will be able to easily connect your DIY solar panel to other panels or a charge controller.

Mount the Panel and Connect to a Charge Controller

For installation:

With proper mounting and connections, your DIY solar panel will provide free power for years to come!

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Solar Panel

To keep your solar panel performing optimally:

Following these maintenance tips will extend the life of your DIY solar panel and keep it performing optimally.


Installing your own affordable DIY solar panel to generate electricity can be very rewarding. Follow the steps outlined here to successfully build a low cost solar panel using common tools and materials. With some patience and attention to detail, you can create a fully functional solar panel that will provide free clean electricity for your home for years. Utilize this guide as a reference for planning the layout, wiring the connections, weatherproofing, and mounting your finished panel. Going solar with DIY panels is a great way to save substantially on your electric bill.