Solutions for Self-Reliance

How to Get Cheap & Easy Off-Grid Power: DIY Solar Panel Video

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Why build your own low-cost solar panels? Because there’s nothing like generating your own “free” energy off the grid, beyond the control of both profit-hungry energy companies and power-hungry politicians.

But even if you’re tied to the grid, when the power goes out it’s great to have alternative ways of powering appliances and gadgets around your home.

This video shows you the easy steps and simple tools that anyone can use to get up and running with their own solar panels and like Kurt says in the video, the more of them you build, the easier they get.

(Want to know more about off-grid solar? Check out Self-Reliance 365 where you’ll find detailed Execution Plans covering every aspect of solar PV systems.)

These panels cost me very little to build and are fun projects for everyone…Presently I’m using my panels at a job site where there is no electricity available. They are running my RV off the grid. These panels are not encapsulated but they work well and are low cost. Not for on-roof installation, best to be close to ground for inspection.

Tools & Material Used in the Video:

  • Solar panels, Multi-crystalline 0.5v 4w (6×6 inch short tabbed cells)
  • Glass panes x 2
  • Wires
  • Soldering iron (45 watts is perfect)
  • Solder
  • Side cutters
  • Scissors
  • Brush (pointy end for holding down contact areas when soldering, and the brush to brush flux.)
  • Flux
  • Clamp (if you don’t want to hold the tabs by hand)
  • A weight (1/2 pound or so)
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone
  • Clear tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Double baking tape
  • Foil tape
  • Tile spacers

Do you really need solar panels when the power goes out?

Of course not. If you’re up for the challenge you can go all out caveman. You might even enjoy the first 12 hours without power. No email! No facebook! If you’re up for the challenge, go for it.

But why not build or buy some solar panels, too, just in case the blackout lasts longer than a few hours?

If you liked the video, don’t forget to share this article with friends so they can build panels, too. When the next blackout comes (or when they go camping), they might thank you for it!

(Want to know more about off-grid solar? Check out Self-Reliance 365 where you’ll find detailed Execution Plans covering every aspect of solar PV systems.)

Ready to start building your solar panels? Have a question or want to share your own results? Leave it below!

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