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How to make a solar panel with CD? – DIY in 3 easy steps

CDs are going out of fashion and are no longer manufactured but there are many still out there, you can take advantage of it to generate your own electricity. Next I will teach you How to make a solar panel with CD .

Does it seem strange to you to build solar panels with CDs? Well, many of us are probably wondering if it is really possible to make one. Interestingly, creating a solar panel built from a CD can be a fun-filled experiment or activity. But the question is how to make a solar panel with CD?

How to make a solar panel with CD

By reading this complete post, you will discover the step by step guide to create solar panels using CDs. As well as delighting in a DIY project, you will hopefully reveal more about the wonders of solar energy and how beneficial it is in our daily lives. Then let’s get started!

Materials Needed to Build a DC Solar Panel

How to make a solar panel with CD

  • a CD plate
  • Multimeter
  • wire cutters
  • Copper wire
  • Super glue
  • insulated electric wire
  • zener diodes
  • small low voltage device
  • Welder

If you don’t have any spare CDs at home, you can ask your friends or neighbors. Or you can find them at online stores or go to used record stores to pick up some bargain CDs.

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The step by step process on how to make a solar panel with a CD

Step 1: Paste the copper wire.

Attach the copper wire to the shiny back of the disk. You can do this in many different methods; however, the most common method is to twist the copper wire into insulated curved sections.

Start by gluing the end of the copper wire near the center hole of your CD. Then extend the copper wire to the edge of the CD, create a hairpin bend, and return it to the middle hole.


Do the same step again as you loop around the CD; connect the cable as needed. After every three or four bends, cut the wire near the middle hole and start another section. The wire should look like petals surrounding a flower at the end.

You can try other types of cable routing when making a DC solar panel. This way, you can see what suits you best. As mentioned above, there are many alternative designs available.

Step 2 –  Put the Zener diodes into the gaps on the copper wire.

Once the copper wire has been clamped down and completely dried, the next step would be to glue the Zener diodes together. These are used to help regulate voltage.

Zener diodes must be placed in the gaps between the cut sections of copper wire. Solder the edges of the copper wire to the edges of the Zener diodes. Do this using a soldering iron.

It is necessary to make sure that one of the gaps is open because you will need to join the insulated wires here later.

Step 3:  Connect the insulated electrical cable.

After you have soldered the Zener diodes, you will need to connect the insulated electrical wire to your compact disc solar panel. Use a small blade or utility knife to tidy up the edges of the wires to create a more secure connection.

In this step, you will need to use the soldering iron again to solder a couple of the copper wire edges to the insulated electrical wire edges. After this, your easy DIY project on how to make a solar cell from a CD is ready. The next important step is to examine if it is working.

Step 4 –  Connect the isolated leads to a multimeter to test if it is working.

On a cloudless day, go outside to test if your DIY compact disc solar panel is working. Connect your solar panel to the multimeter using the electrical leads and place the CD in direct sunlight.

If your DC solar panel works accordingly, the meter reading will increase with direct sun exposure. Alternatively, place the solar panel in a shady spot or cover it with an object or your hand to check how the reading responds.

Connect the isolated leads to a multimeter to test if it is working.

If your newly built solar panel appears to be producing power, consider connecting it to a small low-voltage device to see if you’ve built a solar power source.

What are the possible uses of a solar panel made with DC?

science project for students

Building a DIY solar panel can be a simple means of demonstrating electricity production to students. It is easier for teachers to teach their students how solar energy works.

Please note that teachers should supervise their students because although this is a DIY project, it does require the use of a soldering iron. However, all of the other items needed for this project are safe to use, easy to find (some are already available at home), and affordable.


Discovering the simple methods of building a solar panel from CD is certainly an exciting form of educational experience. Students are encouraged to learn more as they are interested in hands-on learning. This DIY project and experiment allows students to witness the results of their work.

In the same way, creating a solar panel is an ideal learning experience for the old and young. Adults and young children can benefit from this experiment. It can also serve as a ticket to look for more solar projects and expand your knowledge of renewable energy.

low cost power source

Instead of letting old CDs gather dust and rot in our cabinets, we can use them for hands-on projects or experiments. Harnessing solar energy through copper and DC cables is a low-cost means of producing natural energy.

The good news is that by the time your solar panel is built, all the energy produced would come from sunlight. But remember that this will not provide enough power to run your devices.


You heard right! Your homemade solar panel can serve as a toy. It is up to you to decide where you will use your solar panel.

While there is no doubt that it can only supply limited power, many people decide to turn on mini lights or small handheld fans.

What matters most is that you are confident in the manufacturing process of your DIY solar panel. This way you can get more creative and quickly discover more fun uses for your solar panel.


While it’s true that you can’t use solar panels made from CDs to power all the electronics in your home, they can provide us with some exploration opportunities.

Now that you’ve revealed the benefits of making your own CD solar panel, isn’t it time to give it a try? You may consider tweaking a few small details as needed to make your DIY solar panel successful.

Without a doubt, solar energy is an excellent and environmentally friendly method of taking advantage of free renewable energy. And, the step-by-step guide above demonstrates just how smooth browsing can be.

What can be run with a DIY solar panel built from a CD?

Now, the question is; Can you run the electronics in your home using a DC solar panel? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. You can add more CDs; however, it will not produce enough power to run your appliances. As mentioned above, the only things you can run on a DC solar panel include mini accessories and toys.

key takeaway

Did you find our post on how to make a CD solar panel valuable? In this digital age, CDs seem to be less of a popular item. Today, it’s easier and more convenient to connect to computers and other small devices for music updates.

But this doesn’t mean we should just throw away our old CDs. We can recycle or reuse them into more valuable items. Their reflective or shiny surfaces are ideal for building a DIY solar heating panel. So generating solar power for free is possible.


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