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Dads make solar panel artworks with their kids!

Throughout October and November this year, a small group of dads and their kids worked with Art and Energy at Kaleider Studios in Exeter to make their own solar panel artworks.

This project was made possible with the help of Exeter Community Energy who supplied the tools that enable Art and Energy to deliver workshops for all sorts of groups.

How do you make a solar panel artwork?

Session 1: The first step in making a solar panel artwork is to create your design – choose where you want your solar cells to go and the draw or paint of the surface of the glass to create a mask that hides the tabbing wires.

Rather than spend ages planning it out, our group had a think about things that remind them of energy, and they dove straight in.

Session 2: The second stage of making the solar panel is very delicate work, soldering tabbing wire to the solar cells took lots of team work for the dads and their kids. 

Once all the cells have tabbing wire attached to them, a sheet of EVA glue holds them in place on the glass and more soldering is needed to connect all the cells together in a circuit.

Only then can you finish encapsulating all the circuit in more EVA glue to stop it getting wet and protect it a little from breaking.

Session 3: The final stage of building the artwork requires testing with our grow lamps. Once you know the solar panel is working, it can be put into its frame  and then connected to a converter which ensures that you have 5V of power which allows you to plug in a USB.

Our team of makers created 4 new solar panel artworks and they learned more about how solar panels are made.

My favourite bit was soldering” Hector

It is very good” Felix

There was a lot of electrical stuff” Aidan

It was amazing” Ada

Ada and I thoroughly enjoyed every stage of making our solar panel artwork” Bruce

“Truly Unique and also a lot of fun with a working product at the end. Loved it!” Simon

How do I make a solar panel?

If you’re interested in making your own solar panel artwork please come along to one of our workshops in 2020


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Art and Energy at home in Kaleider Studios

Today we spent the day setting up camp in Kaleider Studios where we plan to be for the rest of the year  allowing us to really evolve; researching new processes, working on new pieces, and delivering workshops.

We are extremely grateful to the Kaleider team and the wider Kaleider residents network who’ve supported our work from day one. 


We are so pleased to be able to support Art and Energy and see the creation of their amazing photovoltaic artworks at workshops within Kaleider Studios. It is amazing to think that the seeds for this project were planted at a Lunchtime Talk at Kaleider back in 2018 and see what it has developed into. 

 We have a wide range of Resident artists, designers, technologists and academics at Kaleider but hosting Chloe, Naomi and the rest of the Art and Energy Collective means that we regularly see people making artwork which is both beautiful and asks big questions about our approach to climate crisis.” Peter Vanderford, General Manager

Kaleider’s studios at 45 Preston street are situated in one of the most interesting areas in the city. South and North of the river meet in this vibrant part of the city which is becoming increasingly known for its pioneering spirit. We work with a wide variety of people across the city and Kaleider’s new studios make it easier to bring people together.



We value being based at Kaleider because it challenges us, lifts our sights, helps us make better work, stimulates our imaginations, provides us with opportunities, new thinking, access to people we need and inspires us to keep working better.

The rich history of the place reverberates throughout the space and has been given new life by the Kaleider team. 45 Preston Street has been opened up, reimagined and extensively improved already. The variety and flexibility of the spaces available now mean that the building serves a huge set of purposes, is easy to work in and is a pleasure to invite our visitors and participants to share.

Being a resident at Kaleider has helped us overcome many of the hurdles of setting up a new creative venture, the access to space to trial work, test ideas, gain advice from those with other skills and experience, access expertise, share and participate, store things and do the daily admin. 

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Solar Artworks Unveiled

We unveiled our first solar panel artworks at MikroFest at Kaleider on the 15th of March.

Here is a piece by Emma Ruminski for the BBC that tells you a little bit more about them.

We are looking for places to show off these works, so if you know somewhere that we should show our works, please get in touch.

“Fantastic work! So exciting to see you bringing energy to life. I feel so inspired and can’t wait to see how this evolves!Fleur Disney, Community Energy London

“I love the way you’ve take the inner beauty of the crystals in the panels and made them the centre of the artTrevor Sharp

“This is wonderful and inspiring work – I would love to see it ‘scaled-up’ perhaps a cathedral or an enormous building…” Matt Harvey, Poet

“Stunning. Great work” Dom Jinks, Exeter Culture

“Lots of Potential in this idea!” Andy Slaney, SGS Berkeley

“Sensational exhibition for hope and beauty” Randall Wright