Do It Yourself PV Installations

As a Do-It-Yourselfer your best option for saving money with a PV installation project would involve having a mounting platform ready to go. I prefer a roof mounting, but Collin decided on a ground mounting platform. Some installers allow your  involvement with the actual mounting process but many will not. This array of 24 panels was installed by Collin Harris who lives in Nevada and delivered by Solar Tech USA for $10,700 (shipping included) the Panels were assembled in Ontario Canada by Canadian Solar and the solar cells were made in China.  Each of the polycrystalline panels has a rating of 230 Watts so 24 panels will have a power output of 5,520 Watts in bright sunlight. This means that the cost per watt is less than $2 per Watt... not bad...but I must say that Collin spent an extra $5000 for inverters on the back of each panel. If You don't need AC and you don't care to be connected to the grid you might save money AND if you are connected to the grid with a certified system you can still save money by getting a tax rebate.  At any rate PV systems are starting to look more attractive to everyone concerned with making an investment in renewable energy. The thing nice about PV panels with attached inverters is that they operate independently from each other. This means that when sunlight is unevenly distributed the entire system still performs well. It's a difficult concept to explain so I'll let John Grim explain it to you. 

Eventually PV applications will be so inexpensive that everyone will be able to afford them. Thin film technology is becoming cost effective and we may soon see the price of photovoltaic panels drop below $1 per Watt. When this happens there will be a mad race to get on the solar band wagon so don't wait to long or the wagon may leave without you. Unfortunately "First Solar", a leading manufacturer of thin film panels includes the AC inverter with each panel and they only sell their systems to venders who supply installers so DIYers will have to deal with the venders of "First Solar" products.

How does a solar cell work? 

How was photovoltaic electricity discovered? 

Can I make my own PV cell?

Can I make my own PV panels from Solar cells?

How are PV panels manufactured?

Who manufactures photovoltaic panels?

What makes PV panels so Expensive?

What types of PV panels are available?

Who manufactures photovoltaic panels?

Who installs photovoltaic panels?

The photovoltaic industry has become a big, highly competitive business. The driving force behind the sales is initial cost, life expectancy, service and appearance. The efficiency of a PV panel is important but thin film solar panels with slightly lower efficiencies are becoming very popular because they cost less. Although most of the raw materials as well as the finished solar cells are produced in China PV panel manufacturers are located all over the globe. A leading manufacturer of high quality, low cost, PV panels is "First Solar". They broke ground in Perrysburg, Ohio in 2010 and they have branch companies in Malaysia, Germany and Vietnam and by 2012 "First Solar" is expected to  have an annual power production production capacity of 2,800,000KW, enough to meet most of the power requirements of for over a half million households. Here is a peak inside the worlds leading manufacturer of PV systems: 


Phtovoltaic Electricity
PV Panel Mounting

PV Installation Guide

DIY Photo-voltaic Installations


Stimulus and Renewable Energy Recovery Bill

  Going Green Tips 
Green Solar Recycling

Connecting with Sunshine

Green Solar People

Strawberry Fields Solar Book Store

How to Build a Solar Hot Water System
Energy Independent Housing 
Solar Thermal Energy

MTD Solar Collector Kits

MTD Solar Heating

Differential Controller Kits

Temperature Probes

Solar Energy Center 

World Without Oil 


Energy Message  
Solar Energy Alternative

Solar Politics

Solar Greenhouse

Plant Bed heating

Solar Age
 Solar Heating with Plastic Tanks