If you are thinking about installing your own solar panels in order to save money and energy, that’s a great idea! But before you get started, first be sure that you have the right expectations going in. If you have been told that just by putting one solar panel on your roof for instance, will allow you to move off the grid and pay nothing to the electric company, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. You will save money this way, but try to be realistic and understand how many panels you will need.
Building your own solar panels is a great way to save. Not only will you save on your electric bill going forward, but just by building your own panels you will save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars over the cost of buying commercial panels. In fact, the materials needed to build a solar panel will probably only cost you somewhere from $200 to $400 each.
Another thing you will need to consider is where you will be installing your panels. Your roof can be an ideal location. Not only does it keep the panels out of your way, but it will usually give them the best access to available sunlight. On the other hand, your roof may not fit or be strong enough to support all of your panels. Be sure to check this out ahead of time!
If you are not able to install your panels on the roof, you can consider other possible locations. You can get special stands that will allow you to set the panels up a few feet off the ground. This is a good alternative, but you will need to keep in mind that children or animals may be more likely to get into them or knock them over, possibly damaging the panels.
You should also think about how much sunlight would be available throughout the day and year in your chosen location. Keep in mind that the sun moves across the sky during the day, and shifts position throughout the year. Check to see if trees, houses, garages, or other buildings might block the sun some of the time.
How to build your own solar panels is another questions you will need to get answered before you start. There are a number of great books and guides available online that will take you through the entire process quickly and easily, once you have dealt with the other issues. Take some time to search for a manual that provides complete and understandable instructions. It’s also good to get one that includes videos and pictures as well, since this will illustrate the process for you and make it even easier.