with materials from the hardware store.
This cell is made from cuprous oxide instead of silicon and you can build a working solar cell in 2 hours
to build it i follow this instruction: http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/echem/echem2.html
Step 1: Materials You Will Need
A transparent CD case
Sodium bicarbonate or Table salt
An electric stove
Sheet metal shears for cutting the copper sheet
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Step 2: How to Prepare Copper
Next, place the cleaned and dried copper sheet on the burner and turn the burner to its highest setting.
Step 3: Cooking the Copper
As the copper gets hotter, the colors are replaced with a black coating of cupric oxide. This is not the oxide we want, but it will flake off later, showing the reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of the cuprous oxide layer underneath.
The last bits of color disappear as the burner starts to glow red.
When the burner is glowing red-hot, the sheet of copper will be coated with a black cupric oxide coat. Let it cook for a half an hour, so the black coating will be thick. This is important, since a thick coating will flake off nicely, while a thin coat will stay stuck to the copper.
After the half hour of cooking, turn off the burner. Leave the hot copper on the burner to cool slowly. If you cool it too quickly, the black oxide will stay stuck to the copper.
Step 4: Prepare the Cooked Copper
When you are finished cleaning the copper should be as in the photo
Step 5: Assemble the Cell
Solder a wire to each copper plate
glue to insulate the soldering
glue the plate as in photo
Step 6: Fill and Seal the Cell
Step 7: Test the Cell
A note about power
my cell produces 58 microamps at 0.10 volts.
Don't expect to light light bulbs or charge batteries with this device. It can be used as a light detector or light meter, but it would take acres of them to power your house.