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How to make solar cells?

Hi All,
Instructables is a great site which offers
lots of handy tutorials.

While searching for ways to make solar panels
I came across many tutorials that explain how to
make a solar panel from solar cells.

I'm looking for a tutorial on how to make these
solar cells at home as I don't want to purchase
them.

Anybody has an idea?
Thank you.

Ciao Frank

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Kiteman5 years ago
(Moved to "Tech")

This topic has come up several times before. Unfortunately, for a home Maker without access to some major manufacturing facilities, the answer is "no".

cShellPro (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Thank you, Kiteman.
I heard of a silicone based paint
which can be applied to any smooth
surface to create solar cells.
Really? I'd be interested to see a link?
cShellPro (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Yeah, Really!
please have a look at this link, Kiteman:

http://www.livescience.com/10577-powerful-ideas-spray-solar-cells.html

This technology could help solving our electricity problems.
IF it can be made efficiently enough, and it won't be kitchen sink chemistry if it does, relying on exotic manufacturing methods and chemistry, the components of which are a combination of rare, expensive and toxic.

Home made cells are simply not possible to make with any kind of conversion efficiency.

Steve
What about beheading transistors??? I love the process (second best to defenestrating objects) and they make solar cells that work (at least). I got a bag of old large power ones for my birthday and plan to start a little inquisition team this weekend:)
And what practical output will you achieve ?

Be VERY VERY careful. Big power transistors often use highly toxic Beryllia substrates.

Steve
The theoretical maximum efficiency for the best existing (amorphous silicon) solar cells is 30%, with about 20-25% achieved in production. One percent efficiency will not go very far.

Consider that the ratio of wall to roof for a typical residential building is just 4:1 or so. Replacing a full roof system made of existing panels with "painted walls" reduces the output by a factor of six!

The idea of simpler, and perhaps even on-site, fabrication of finished panels is very attractive. However, this new idea is not yet ready to compete with, let alone replace, standard fixed cells and panels.
Well the best tech is multi-junction, with demonstrated efficiency beyond 40%, but they don't come in a spray can yet ;-)

Steve
In laboratory conditions, they're approaching 1% efficiency.

In the real word...?

As Steveastrouk says, actual solar cells are outside the reach of the home Maker.