DIY Solar Panels for kids

SunSolarDudeSunSolarDude Registered Users Posts: 6
Hello. I'm wondering if there are any easy DIY Solar Panels that can be done by kids. My son needs one for a science project. He's in 4th grade. Thanks!


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not sure what you're looking for...

    Building solar panels involves soldering, I wouldn't recommend for a 4th grader.

    If it's to demonstrate solar, you could, pickup a small panel and some NiMH or NiCD batteries to charge and some cheap electronic gadgets. I did this for my nephew. just used bolts for terminals, dollar store fans, and short string of LED 'Christmas lights that ran off battery pack...

    If it is indeed building solar panels, I would suggest getting some 'tabbed' solar cells these will already have the thin tinned leads soldered to the back of the cells. They can be found on eBay or Amazon. For a small demonstration project, I might suggest creating a 5 volt charging station and again use 4 NiCD or NiMH batteries. Many things run on 5 volt USB these days and you can butcher an old tower for a panel type usb outlet.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,741 admin
    edited November 2015 #3
    The "typical" large diameter "raw" solar cells from E-Bay are very fragile. If you know what you are doing, it is possible to connect a few "pre-tabbed" cells together--Otherwise, they are very thin and easy to break just separating a single cell out out of the package.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • oil pan 4oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭

    Soldering together raw solar cells that are more fragile than a potato chip with a 700'F soldering pen and lead solder.

    I started soldering when I was in 5th grade, only burned my self good once. Then you learn. 

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • AlexAlex Registered Users Posts: 12
    You can get a small solar panel with a clip line for around $20 on amazon, if that's what you're looking for.
  • SunSolarDudeSunSolarDude Registered Users Posts: 6
    Thanks to everyone. I'd be supervising my son throughout the whole project and I guess he we would be somewhat happy with the soldering. Just gonna do that part for him though just to be sure.
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