Instructables

My home made solar cell step by step

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Picture of My home made solar cell step by step
Here is a low power low efficiency photovoltaic cell that you can make you own in the kitchen
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
on
 
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Step 1: Materials you will need

Picture of Materials you will need
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A sheet of copper flashing from the hardware store
A transparent CD case
Electric wire
Sodium bicarbonate or Table salt

An electric stove
hot glue
solder
Sheet metal shears for cutting the copper sheet

I suggest you visit http://scitoys.com there are many projects and interesting kit

Step 2: How to prepare copper

Picture of How to prepare copper
The first step is to cut a piece of the copper sheeting that is about the size of the burner on the stove. Wash your hands so they don't have any grease or oil on them. Then wash the copper sheet with soap or cleanser to get any oil or grease off of it. Use the sandpaper or wire brush to thoroughly clean the copper sheeting, so that any sulphide or other light corrosion is removed.

Next, place the cleaned and dried copper sheet on the burner and turn the burner to its highest setting.

Step 3: Cooking the copper

Picture of Cooking the copper
cook the copper for at least 30 min.
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.
ChedSawada7 months ago
Sir, Ahm..............my teacher in chemistry said that when the copper plate is mixed with sodium bicarbonate.....it will have chemical reactions and the sun is only the catalyst for this solar cell to produce electricity..........he also said that the longer it stays under the sun..........it will corrode and sooner it will turn in to gas........i also noticed the green chemicals that are seen in the copper plate...thans a lot sir......i will be patienly waiting for your answer.please......God bless!
alessiof76 (author)  ChedSawada7 months ago
in the following link you can find the explanation of the reaction

https://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&ved=0CHkQFjAK&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.surfacetreatments.it%2Fupload%2Fdocumentazione%2F98%2FTesi%2520Lytovchenko.pdf&ei=idQqUqLUCuGQ4ATTxIHoBQ&usg=AFQjCNE5bq3nrtrl3-Z8cyNPDfhMjARnow&sig2=eTWHfm6RLt32LMgQKtFNpA&bvm=bv.51773540,d.bGE

https://www.google.it/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGEQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ajol.info%2Findex.php%2Fbajopas%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F63717%2F51544&ei=idQqUqLUCuGQ4ATTxIHoBQ&usg=AFQjCNG80JRxqUo5OAJ8CRbAX3W_VeXG8g&sig2=R5UN4oxlHIMrjW-KGMMtEw&bvm=bv.51773540,d.bGE

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092702489700233X
alessiof76 (author) 9 months ago
??? simple conductive ad transparent solution... H2o + NaCl
papa mama9 months ago
is make a water of common salt.? .............. please reply
papa mama9 months ago
Mr.alessiof! please tell me that what salt water enter the CD case with copper sheets? please reaply, HURRY. If i wrote in bad word please, i tell you sorry. PLEASE.................................Thanks
alessiof76 (author)  papa mama9 months ago
saturated solution of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or common salt (NaCl)
Obaid Mir1 year ago
I am sure it will work but I need to know how much voltage it will generate because I am about to charge my laptop.
alessiof76 (author)  Obaid Mir1 year ago
about 0.05V-0,1V only some uA...... :(
This is great I am gong to add some panels to my current solar engines setup.
Thanks
what are the measurements for water and baking soda?
prajeshkv1 year ago
i m really exicted to do this solar cell at home, but my requirment is for 12 v ,plz.
Mr.alessiof76, explain me in brief.,thank you.
jgreyes1 year ago
Sir, it is possible to increase the output of your project up to 19-20v?
Neolp1 year ago
Great post, I read of a very similar method to make these cuprous oxide panels in solar energy projects for the evil genius by Gavin D.J. Harper. It claims to not provide much power but an excellent project for the beginner.
I reccomend visiting the library or your local book store and checking out some of the alternative energy books for DIY's, there are tons of books and magazines that should inspire people to make something awesome and of course post their project on instructables :).
Blaziner1 year ago
sir it is necessary to fill it with salt solution....and if yes then it should be filled inside the case?..thank u
swarup98801 year ago
hi i am swarup from india. I know that the solar cell are made by pn juntion. But you use copper. how is it wort. please reply.....
Copper Sheets aren't sold in my city, can brass sheets substitute for this??please reply.
alessiof76 (author)  Carwen Betha1 year ago
No... only copper
Are there other sources of copper aside from hardware stores?
Just to clarify, I need to use a soldering iron and solder the wire to the copper sheet and then put glue on the wire as well..then glue the plate to the CD case?
alessiof76 (author)  Carwen Betha1 year ago
glue the wire to insulate it from water
i tried to solder the wire, but it wasnt working, how do i do it? do i use soldering wire?
alessiof76 (author)  loose thread1 year ago
deoxidize surface before solder
What kind of electric wire did you use? I'm still waiting for your reply to my previous question..
alessiof76 (author)  Carwen Betha1 year ago
be patient, standard chopper wire
jbaker221 year ago
Will Vaseline glass give the right radiation to give a constant energy for some time?
goel1 year ago
hi i admire you could u tell me what is the thicknessof the copper plate and this is the only way to make a solar cell thank u
lilbeezy1 year ago
how can you get the copper sheet
lilbeezy1 year ago
help me to build solar Panel and i want to know how it made
Vishvesh2 years ago
is it compulsory to seal the CD case and to glue the copper plates ?
does this cell produce the same amount of energy a cell in the actual solar panel?
are you 100% sure that it will work?
sorry, but i am doing a science fair project, and i am stressing out
alessiof76 (author)  loose thread2 years ago
yes
zking32 years ago
question.... how much salt would you put in the solution??
Can we use any other material in place of copper?Or can we use a copper wire?
hemanath2 years ago
I want to know how silicon solar cells are manufactured
i hope it will work. i will try and tell u.
i have a question . can will built a pannel by joining many cell like this one ?
and
how much electricity it can produce?
alessiof76 (author)  21ali2ali19952 years ago
Of course! the output voltage is proportional to the number of cells connected in series
bubbachr3 years ago
why cant you let flame contact the copper
alessiof76 (author)  bubbachr2 years ago
contact with the flame does not produce the right oxide
manny69673 years ago
Thanks for the info I'm gonna try it and post my results..
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