This is not "How to make PV Solar Cells".
It is possible to home-make Copper Oxide and other kinds of materials
but that is a whole nother story which I may do in the future.

I may be a little bit ambitious to try to show you how I made PV
Solarpanels out of various types of cells I collected and how and
where I obtained them rather inexpensively, and some of the differences
in the various kinds, but most of all, how to work with them to get
free electricity under the light of the sun and other sources of light.

In essence, this involves ways to connect cells, which may produce
more or less than one volt, and not only try to increase power output
but also decrease the load, that is, efficiently conserve the energy
whether it is meager or significant.
For example, even the weakest solar panels can run watches,
calculators, radios, charge batteries, and if a computer were
specifically designed to, it would be as solar-powerable as a calculator.

Here are some pictures of Solar Panels which I have constructed.

Step 1: Supplies and Sources

What you may be able to use to build a useful solar panel:

"Broken" solar cells. They are very cheap and they work, they are
just randomly shaped. They are usually crystalline silicon ones,
which ALWAYS (ha!) look broken even when they are not.

Surplus solar cells. Amorphous silicon printed on glass (check) are
excellent, usually producing more than a volt, and much sturdier
than the thin ones that break in bulk quantities. If these break, we
can fix them, usually.

Indium Copper Selenide Cells. These are "new" and are conveniently
sold as glass tiles with easy to solder tabs.

Any of the above, sold as cells prepared for assembly into panels;
in other words, complete and solder - ready or with wires and tabs.
(I will explain how to prepare inferior quality cells in this instructable.)

Miscellaneous items:
Wire Glue - There is already another instructable for using wire glue
on Broken solar cells. (link)

Brass extrusions, bracket |_| shaped - Convenient for connecting to glass cells.

Soldering Iron - low wattage
Small flat-head screwdriver
Thin (around 20 AWG or less) stranded copper wire

Lamp cord or Speaker Wire
Alligator clips

Deep Picture Frames or Shadow Boxes (Enclosure)
-look for imported frames at the El Cheapo store and pray a machine made them

Acrylic/Lexan/Plexiglas/Etc clear polymer sheets
Router or Dremel to cut out the middle of one out of three sheets
RTV (Silicone Glue) - or :
High Temperature Hot Melt Glue (Caution-you don't want the sun to melt it!)

Rectifier Diode such as 1N4001 or 1N4004

Voltage doubler or multiplier circuits (you can make) to increase voltage output.
-examples: ICL7660, MAX1044, MAX232, etc.

Wide Sticky Tape
Double Sticky Foam Tape

Rechargeable Nickel Batteries
Gel Cells or Car Battery (you got one, might as well use it until it's useless)
-Li Ion not recommended because they are harder to charge

Analog volt meter (only because it doesn't need batteries like a digital one)

AC Inverter - if you are charging a powerful battery and would occasionally
run some mains-powered appliance. Some UPS's can be easily modified to
be inverters, if they can be turned on after a power failure.

Broken Solar Cells:
Herbach and Rademan
Silicon Solar
Electronic Goldmine

Glass (Amorphous) Solar Cells:
Electronic Goldmine
Note:Other links here may also supply Glass Solar Cells

Indium Copper Selenide Cells:
All Electronics
Edmund Scientific
Electronic Goldmine

Other sources:
Cheap weather damaged solar powered outdoor night lights
-(common failures are circuit corrosion and defective batteries, not the solar cells)
Defective solar calculators, solar charged flashlights, etc.

Perhaps a little off topic:
For a reasonably good deal on Complete and Useful Solar Panels I recommend
"Solar Car Battery Chargers" that are about 1 or 2 watts and between $20 and $30,
whenever an opportunity to get some arises. But those are what I am trying to show
how to Make an approximate equivalent of.

<p>Thanks . I made it with Inplix</p>
<p>There are so many interesting posts regarding this topic, people share information and experience. But unfortunately it seems do easy when you ready the instruction though when you try to create something it turns into&hellip; sorry, cannot find decent words. So, we also spent quite much money but as the result got nothing and applied to solarpanelscompany.com to have solar PV installed. In such a way I can calculate the costs and efficiency as well as invite specialists in case I have some problems.</p>
What is it with these people and emails? Are those spammers? I mean you are giving very detailed instructions on this and they want you to email them with detailed instructions? LOL. I put you in my favs this is great! Most just have instructions but I need pictures too so yours is easy to follow.
Interesting &amp; informative post. Please can some one clear how many panels required to generate 1000 Volts?
at least 1,587 high efficiency cells. If each cell is producing a minimum of 0.63 V.
what are the sources of those cells?
Ebay, broken cells<br>
Thanks, good instructable! <br><br>What's with all the people asking you to email them how to's ? Didn't they bother to read this ?
Nice informative instructable. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you very much!!!!
you are such a lier thier is so much soler power you could eat it
Have you tried solar water heating, low flow shower heads, geyser-timers etc etc. I have and its been quite good but I also want to get some PV panels and build up a battery bank, it seem expensive still in SA and there is conflicting information, I went to an Eskom conference last week and advised them that their video and info on turning down geysers was incorrect, the thermo. needs to be zero'd (click) before turning to the desired temp. They said they know.?
would like to know about &quot;ICL7660&quot;<br> <br> When I check my local Electronics store<br> they list 3 different versions<br> <br> ICL7660CPA<br> ICL7660CSA<br> ICL7660SCP<br> <br> dose it make a difference which one I pick ?<br>
It shouldn't make too much difference. The different letters at the end are often just differences in max levels, whether of efficiency or of other small details. For a small project like this, any of the three should work fine. If you'd like more info on the chips, the datasheets can be found on alldatasheets.com, ti.com, or most other electronics providers sites.
Very nice article and illustrations. You gave step by step instructions that were easy to understand. I've seen a few more of these on other sites, but got a little lost. Keep up the good work.
Pretty Darn cool, I've got a little different angle on this. Let me explain. I live in the Midwest U.S. It's gets pretty darn cold/expensive in the winter. With the price of Corn sky rocketing it's no longer cost effective to heat my house with my corn burner. So I started playing with electrolysis to make Hydrogen to burn in my Natural gas Furnace. The problem is if I do this with the grid I'm burning coal not to mention it would be more efficient to forgo the electrolysis step. So here's what I want to do. I'd like to keep a battery charged from a solar panel. My output to the electrolyzer from the battery will be about 12 volts at 20 amps. Keep in mind it will only run for about 10 minutes every 20-30 minutes . That's it, if I can get it to work it will save me about $2000 a year in heating expenses.
Be very careful - hydrogen is a dangerous gas. One little bit of air in there and you have a bomb. I will explain a little more. Hydrogen is the smallest gas molecule you can get. So it leaks through almost any sealing material. Also because of its low molecular weight it reacts with oxygen very quickly which means its &quot;burn rate&quot; is very fast. A lot of the reason you are not already driving a hydrogen powered vehicle has to do with these properties - many millions of dollars have been spent trying to make hydrogen safe to store and make it burn slowly enough not to destroy the engine.
i have pondered hydrogen heating myself, someone needs to make a instructable on hydrogen fuell cell heatingsystems powered by solar energy
i've been interested in wind energy as well as solar energy for a while, I want to build my own wnd generator but there are many versions and ideas, can someone point me in the right direction and just tell me how to do it. what type of motor especially, the design portion I have down but getting the motor to produce energy is the confusing part, i.e. what kind of motor is the most effective.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Chispito-Wind-Generator/step2/MATERIALS/<br /> This instructable mentions electric treadmill motors. <br />
I have heard that a DC Motor made by Ametek is what you need. These motors will produce DC current when they turn backwards. You attach your blades per your design and it should turn the motor backwards. You will want a 30VDC Motor with a low RPM rating, under 400RPM @ 30V is the best bet. I hope this is helpful in some way.

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