You should also have made a 2x4 foot painted frame with a sheet of painted pegboard inside the body of the frame.
In this how to make a solar panel lesson we’ll be working with both the frame and the solar cells.
How To Make a Solar Panel: Place your frame on your work bench. Take one string of cells, still on your cardboard template, and slide them off the template into your frame. The template should hold everything in place. If you did everything correctly your soldered cells shouldn’t come apart. If the tabbing wires do come apart, then simply continue to place the string inside the frame and resolder any loose of broken connections.
Rinse and repeat until all three strings are inside the frame side by side.
Next, evenly organize your strings of solar cells inside the frame. The easiest way to achieve this why you added the pegboard. Since the pegboard has dozens of tiny holes in straight lines, align your first string against the holes using them as a guide.
Remember to leave a quarter inch gap between the strings, and a ¾” inch gap around the inside of the entire frame. Lightly mark with a pencil the starting point of each string. This will help you position them again once you complete the next procedures.
Place the silicone into your caulking gun.
Cut the tip of the silicone tube at an angle
Next, place the tile spacers at one end of your string so that when you are gluing your string down they will remain even and in place.
Once the tile spacers are in place, lift up the first solar cell and place a quarter-sized amount of silicone beneath it. Rinse and repeat until all the solar cells of the first string have silicone underneath them. Continue until you have silicone under each cell.
Next take a few more tile spacers and place them on the left side to align the solar cells and slide your solar cells into place. Remember to keep a ¾” gap between the cell and the side of the frame. This will keep your solar cells evenly aligned in your frame.
After having successfully aligned the first string of solar cells, repeat the process for the other 2 strings. Try and leave about ¾” of an inch around the outside of the cells all the way around.
Tip: when all your solar cells have been glued down to the frame, allow time for the silicone to dry before removing the tile spacers.
In the next how to make solar panels lesson we'll be wiring the cell into the frame.