What You Will Need to Make Your Own Solar Panel

These are the main things you will want in order to make your solar panel (although there are other things that would be nice to have, which will be discussed later):

Solar Cells to Provide 4.5V / 1AMP + more (you’ll break some)

Flat Tabbing Wire

Flat Bus Wire

Soldering Iron


Flux Pen

Conductive Wire

Electrical Junction Box

Thin Spacers

Silicon Sealant

Glass Panel (the one in this tutorial is 10” x 8”)

Plexi-Glass Panel (same size as glass)


Wire Cutters

It would be great to say that you can get all this stuff at your local hardware store, but the truth is you may have to purchase some of it online. It’s likely that there are stores in your area that have it all, but you may have to do some searching. If you have any questions about what each item is for, just click it and you will see the explanation.

The 8” x 10” size was chosen for the glass and plexi-glass because it was easily found at Home Depot and because that seemed to be a perfect size for a mobile charging station. It could easily be moved along with a notebook, or textbooks, or whatever.

The solar cells that I had available were .5V / 1A cells that are 2” x 3”. This played a part in the size of the panel, as well as the voltage chosen for the panel. Ideally you would want something like 5V – 6V out of the panel, but the panel size that was chosen can only comfortably fit 9 – 2” x 3” cells. Connected in series, those cells would provide 4.5 Volts. Keep in mind that there are many amperage and voltage combinations that could be used, and connecting in parallel and series will change the type of power being provided. You could theoretically make a panel that could charge your laptop, or an entire work station for that matter. Learn about that here if you would like.

Next: Step Two - Laying Out the Panel
Previous: Step One - Planning Out the Panel