You have just finished reading you new utility bill that seems to have risen again but there does not seem any alternative, or is there?
One thing you may consider is free renewable energy from solar panels and you could save even more by doing a DIY solar panel installation. If this route interests you then read on because there are some great tips here for you to follow.
There are companies out there who supply everything you need for you DIY solar Panel Installation and they may even provide plans and some assembly advice. You can also always source the part individually online saving even more.
If you have done any DIY before then the tools you already have in the garage are probably all you are going to need, hammer, saw, knife, screw driver and a soldering iron.
You will find the list of materials slightly longer, but the majority of people have some spare wood lying around that they can use to make the frame to mount that panels onto the roof, also you will need some screws and wood paneling to fabricate the cells housings.
You should buy the pv cells that are pre-tabbed with the tab wires already connected to them. Get some blocking diodes to prevent the current reversing. You will also need EVA glue, flux and solder. It is a good idea to use some clear plastic sheeting to act as a lid of the housing and that is it, this is where the fun begins.
Now you are this stage it's time to sit back and decide where best to place your panels. Ideally you are looking for a nice South facing slope, away from any shade (and remember this moves throughout the day) where possible you also want to this area to be convenient for wiring up the panel to your battery storage area.
Before to begin to assemble your panels, clear a nice space on your workshop floor try to get it as dust free as possible. As soon as you get the cells secured onto the backing board (a 6×6 configuration is the most common) you are essentially just putting a jigsaw puzzle together so making sure you have a good space to work in, as it will definitely help.
After using the wire to join up the cell tabs you will need to install the blocking diodes and the cable that runs to your storage batteries. Once this has all been done it's now time to cover the unit with the plastic top to protect the cells, get your silicone gun out and seal it up. It is essential to get this seal perfectly as you do not want any moisture getting into the unit.
The final fabrication stage of your DIY solar panel installation is to apply some insulation to the rear of the unit and paint it all black – please do not paint the lid though! It may seem obvious but you would be surprised!
The panels are now ready to be mounted into position. The unit will be fairly heavy and cumbersome so an extra pair of hands here is advised, especially if you are working at height, it is better to be safe than sorry. All you need to do next is connect your unit up to the storage battery, if you are unfamiliar with wiring or even if you are not, I would say ALWAYS get a qualified electrician to check your wiring at the very least.
That is it, well done! This project, if done correctly and properly planned is a great deal of fun. You can now go off the Grid! saving money and the environment.