Today I stumbled upon a web site made by a guy (he’s an astronomer) who did his own very cheap solar panel. He has a remote property in Arizona and there isn’t any power source, so he had to improvise it by himself.
Basically, what our fellow did was buying the solar panels from eBay at a very low price ($74), process them so they can be build onto a cardboard, and secure them in place. This particular solar homemade solar panel gives him about 18V, enough to charge a 12V car battery and run small consumers around his home. The biggest problem was to remove the wax from the solar cells that protected them from shocks during transport.
The cells he ordered are 3×6 inches in size, all of them assembled should be giving about 60W. That’s enough for a start, keeping in mind that a normal person doesn’t use any power than a refrigerator during the day, while he is at work. The time when the user doesn’t use the energy, it can be stored into batteries.
It’s a pretty good idea, and for $74 it’s really worth it, compared to the sky-rocketing prices of solar cells present on the usual market. Imagine how much power you could generate with the homemade solar panel if you invested $1000 in this type of panel and put them onto your rooftop! You would theoretically power almost your entire home from them (supposing you have a CFC lighting, LCD TV set and an economic refrigerator. It’s really worth trying.
The same guy (by the way, his name is Michael Davis) has built a wind turbine this time to add excess power to his homemade solar panel.