Make a solar panel from reused broken cells

If you want to take advantage of the sun’s energy to power your house but the budget for the big investments is not enough, or if you had a panel but for some reason the cells broke, there are options for you. We tell you how to make a new high power panel step by step from reusing the broken parts.

Materials and tools.

Before you begin, make sure you have the following:

  • Soldering iron between 15 and 25 various.
  • Silver solder or, to contain the price, 60/40 electronic solder.
  • Multimeter.
  • Rubber.
  • Solar band to bind the cells.
  • A flat work surface.


First step: general approach.

If you don’t have the broken cells, you will have to start getting them through the web or some other means.

Once you’ve entered them, the first thing to do is separate them by similar sizes. Keep in mind that in the phase of wiring the different cells, it will be the smallest of all that will dictate the amperage of your panel. Therefore, remember the following maxim: the larger the size, the more amps provided by the system. Also, keep in mind that in virtually any type of cell the positive will be its back side, while the front will be the negative.

Step two: get to work.

Once you have all of your parts, you should check to see if they have a solar collector bar. If not, clean the strip with an eraser very carefully. Then you will need to solder with tin, and when the smoke clears, spread it on the bar. Then cut a piece of duct tape and use the soldering iron to melt it onto the busbar. Repeat the process for each of the cells.

When you are done, you will need to get to the lead solder on the back of the cells which in most cases will be the darker side. The process you need to follow is exactly the same as above. When you are finished, you can proceed to the next step.

Third step: wiring.

For the series connection phase of the cells, the welding performed on the back of each of them will be used, as it will allow the connection to the front of the next part.

Line up all the cells and mix the solar tape between the tab on the back of one cell and the top of the next. Repeat this as many times as you want, depending on the desired tension.

If you are not using a charge controller, it is advisable to incorporate a diode in the positive to prevent the batteries from running out at night.

Fourth step: final assembly.

Taking all of the above into account, you will only need to seal the structure on a flat surface that meets your needs, such as a piece of wood. Remember that everything must be sealed well with silicone before placing the panel in the most suitable place in your house to collect solar energy.

With this, you will have your panel ready and you can start enjoying it at an impossible lower cost.

Original and complete project in Instructables.