Liter Of Light USA is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

11 Easy DIY Solar Panel Plans

Perhaps you want to install solar panels and save the money you spend on electricity bills. Or you want an environment-friendly way to power your home.

But solar panel budgets have left your head-dizzying. If this is you, there might be a way to still achieve your goal without having to spend so much money.

You can build your own solar panels from scratch or improve on old ones.

The good news is that you don’t have to know your way around electricity to implement some of these plans.

Stick to this guide for some DIY hacks that will power your home at little to no cost.

The DIY Solar Panel Plans to Save You Costs

1. Reuse Broken Pieces

how to build 3d solar panels

If you don’t have money for a new solar panel, getting broken pieces is an excellent idea.

You can buy a packet of broken solar cell pieces for a few dollars and make a solar panel from these.

A handful of items:

  • Broken solar cells
  • A copper mesh
  • A multimeter
  • A hot glue gun
  • Silicone coating

First, use a multimeter to check if the cells are working.

Then all you have to do is to link the cells carefully. To get the best results, make a solar array using the cells with the negative sides connecting to the positives.

solar panels blueprints

If you use a 6-cell piece, you can light a LED but near the window.

Check out the details here.

2. Sunflower-Like Idea

diy 3d solar panels

Like a sunflower follows the sun, so does this model of a solar panel.

If you own a 3D printer, creating this system is a walk in the park. But, if not, you can still use items easy-to-find items.

What you’ll need:

Arduino software to make it easy to upload a program

  • Servo motors
  • Resistors
  • Photoresistors
  • Jumper wires
  • Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Some metal paperclips

With this DIY, you use paperclips to join the panel to the sidewalls and the motor.

solar panel blueprint

The servo motors’ work is to rotate the solar panels and the sensor, depending on the sun’s direction.

To get the full DIY, follow this link.

3. Truck Roof Solar Panel Plan

make your own diy solar system

You don’t have to build this solar panel from scratch. You have to buy a panel depending on your consumption.

For this DIY hack, you need:

  • Fiberglass
  • Tape
  • Solar panel kit

But, if you’re okay with drilling holes on your truck, you can do away with the tape. This panel comes with a kit with instructions on how to install it. You will find the rest of the items in the kit.

If you fear the tape might not hold the panel when it’s windy, you can add some safety lines.

how to make solar panels free

Once installed, you can charge small items like your phone or speaker.

Check out the details here.

4. Solar Panel On a Rover

solar panel plan

If you’re just looking to have some fun with a big solar project, consider this option. Use such a system to power outdoor events.

Although it might be more expensive than other DIYs, it’s an interesting project to challenge yourself with.

You will need:

  • At least three solar panels (190W each)
  • 6 batteries
  • Fuses
  • Charge controller
  • Cables
  • Inverter

When you buy the panels, they’ll be attached to a metal frame.

solar panel plans

Lay the panels on a two-wheeled trailer. Then, mount the six interstate batteries behind the solar panel.

To get the most out of the panels, look for the best sunlight angle.

Here’s the full DIY hack.

5. Portable Solar Panel

solar panel blueprints

With this DIY panel, you can power small devices while on the move.

Although you can easily buy a small panel from a store, creating one allows you to custom make it.

You can use:

  • 1″ by 3″ solar cells
  • Soldering iron
  • Wirecutter
  • Batteries and a holder
  • Plastic
  • Paint
  • Drill
  • Adhesive

Connect the solar cells to each other and install on aboard.

diy portable solar panel stand

Use a flat piece of wood on which to arrange your solar cells. Arrange the front of the cell to back in a series.

Attach the cells to the wood. Use clear plastic as a cover.

Finally, join your battery holder to the panel.

You can get 250mA at 4V from your panels. The panels can charge two AA batteries.

Make a portable solar panel using these steps.

6. Foldable Panel

make your own solar panel

Do you ever need to charge your electronic gadgets on the go? Like the portable solar panel, here’s a solar panel plan you can use because it’s foldable.

For this DIY plan, you need:

  • Four solar panels
  • Plywood
  • A regulator
  • Two USB sockets
  • Diodes

You can also buy a foldable USB hub.

diy solar panel stand

To make the foldable panel, use plywood on which you’ll lay out the panels which are then linked in a parallel manner.

You can get an energy of about 800mA which can charge a small MP3 player.

Check out the steps here.

7. $100 Solar Panel

build a solar pannel

If you have a tight budget, this solar panel will cost under $100 to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Solar cells
  • A charge controller
  • Batteries
  • A photo frame to hold the cells together
  • Some wood
  • Fuses
  • Inverter
  • Cables
  • A 12V socket
  • A 9V battery
  • A blocking diode
  • An LCD voltmeter

The idea is to stick the cells together and lay them on the photo frame. Make a hole at the back from where the wires come out. Connect the wire to the diode to prevent the panels from discharging backward.

Then build a slanting stand to mount your panels and place it where it is exposed to maximum sunlight. The wire from the panel goes through the ground to your house. Remember to keep it short to avoid DC loss.

Get the full details here.

8. Two-In-One Solar Panel

solar panels diy

The heat emitted by solar panels doesn’t have to go to waste if you use this solar panel. The hybrid option allows you to use thermal energy from your panel.

What you need:

  • Solar cells
  • Aluminum backplate
  • Copper pipe
  • Solder
  • 12V water pump
  • Glass cover
  • Aluminum rails
  • Aluminum flux paste
  • Electric insulator
  • Silicon caulk

make your own solar panel free instructions

Join the copper pipe to the aluminum backplate.

Then connect the solar cells in series and use Silicon caulk to stick them to the insulator.

Finally, connect the electricals.

See how to do it yourself here.

9. The Diode Way

solar panels do it yourself free

You can make solar panels using diodes. Why? Panels are made of silicon, and so are diodes. The even better news is that diodes cost just a few dollars.

Diodes allow electricity to flow only one way, and they have a negative and positive end.

Connect the diodes in a series to get the best voltage out of them but lower amperage.

Should you wish to connect them in parallel, remember, you’ll get a lower voltage but high amperage.

Then, set the multimeter probes on the circuit ends.

At first, you might not get as much electricity, but you can build up as you go until you can light something like a LED.

For the full DIY hack, go here.

10. Entire Home Solar Panel Plan

solar panel frames build your own

Although it’s expensive, this DIY plan can power your home for years enabling you to recover those costs.

First, get these items together:

Most of the items will come with the solar panel package.

The first step is to choose an ideal location. You don’t necessarily have to go for your roof. You can mount the panels on the garage or shed roof.

Fix your brackets and fasten the rails onto them using bolts.

Then, link the rails with a copper wire using grounding screw terminals.

You then arrange the panels on the roof and connect the DC wires to the inverter.

The catch with this option is that you might need a permit for it, and there will be an inspection once you’re done.

Build a home solar panel with these steps.

11. Off-Grid Plan

build a solar panal

If you know your way around electricals and don’t want to be tied to a grid, this DIY hack might be for you.

What you need:

  • Solar panels
  • Batteries
  • Inverter
  • Charge controller
  • Copper wire
  • Fuses
  • Meters
  • MC4 connector

You can either connect the panels as a series or in parallel format.

The battery will help you save the power produced by the panels for use at night and when you have downtime.

You can make a mounting stand and tilt it towards the sunlight.

Using concrete mix, ground the stand and mount the panels.

Check out more details here.

Summary

Powering your house or workshop with solar is possible with the above DIY solar panel plans.

The good news is that these DIY hacks are not only beginner-friendly but can also be engaging if you’re looking for some fun.

You can reuse broken solar cells if you’re tight on cash or go for the $100 solar panel.

If you have a truck, you can build the truck roof option. Still, should you want something portable, there are some easy on-the-go panels you can build.

What’s more? If you’re willing to spend some good money on an outdoor event panel, the rover type could be for you.

Want to save costs? Do the panels yourself.

Leave a Comment