How to Build a Simple Solar Panel from Scratch Using Cheap Materials


Building your own solar panel from scratch is an exciting project that can save you money on energy costs. With just a few cheap, easily accessible materials, you can harness the power of the sun to generate electricity for your home. In this guide, I will walk you step-by-step through the process of assembling a simple yet functional solar panel using common household items.

What You Will Need

To build a basic solar panel, you will need the following materials:

Step-by-Step Assembly

Follow these steps to assemble a simple 6V solar panel from the components listed above:

1. Arrange and Connect the Solar Cells

First, plan the layout of your solar cells on the Plexiglass backing. Arrange the cells in a series, ensuring the positive terminal of one cell connects to the negative terminal of the next cell.

Use the tabbing wire to solder the cells together in series. Polarity matters here! Solder the negative terminal of Cell 1 to the positive terminal of Cell 2, and so on.

2. Glue the Solar Cells onto the Plexiglass

Once your cells are interconnected, carefully glue them onto the Plexiglass using a silicone or epoxy adhesive. Make sure no wires are pinched underneath!

Allow several hours for the adhesive to fully cure and harden.

3. Solder on the Bus Wire Output Cables

Take your two bus wires and solder them to the positive and negative terminals on the opposing ends of your solar panel. These will serve as your output leads.

Use heat shrink tubing to protect the joint where the bus wire connects to the solar cell terminals.

4. Enclose in a Protective Casing

Finally, you need to enclose your solar panel in a protective casing to shield it from the elements. Glue the collection of solar cells and Plexiglass onto your backing material - plywood, PVC, etc.

Seal the edges with silicone caulk to prevent moisture intrusion. Add a frame or border if desired for a nicer appearance.

Connecting Your Solar Panel to a Battery

To use your DIY solar panel, you'll need to connect it to a charge controller or battery maintainer to safely charge a 12V or 24V battery.

The charge controller regulates the voltage and current from the solar panel to prevent overcharging. Follow the wiring directions provided with your specific charge controller model.

With proper set up, your homemade solar panel will silently generate free solar electricity any sunny day!

Safety Precautions

Take these safety measures when working on your solar panel project:


Constructing your own functional solar panel from scratch is an enlightening and rewarding project. The ability to generate power from the sun using just basic components is amazing.

With this guide, you now have the knowledge to assemble a simple 6V solar panel using common materials. Keep safety in mind, take your time, and have fun harnessing the sun!