Instructables
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.
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I think it's good idea. Inplix is nice. I can recommend it

jak_kr01 month ago

i like this project and intend to experiment with it a good bit. there a few points that come to mind though.

first: id like to find a way to do it cheaper with as many free, recycled, easy to find, and scrap components. also suggestions for alternative materials would be nice so that the primary things are not simply directed to acquire from the hardware store.

some of my ideas were to use old cat-3 phone line (which is often solid inside walls and braided when outside). i use solder from old pluming or circuit boards. actually an old computer could give you the wiring and enough solder for a few of these.

1/2" copper pipe translates to about 1.6" when cut and flattened and has a thickness of 0.028mm to 0.049mm, depending on type, and can be cut to whatever length.

1" copper pipe translates to about over 3" and has a thickness of about. 0.035mm to 0.065mm.

either of these aren't uncommon to find as scrap, and if bought would be much cheaper than flashing by the square inch as well as mass. is that acceptable or does the copper need to be thin enough to grade by mil to work? (if so, id just suggest smashing it more!)

i would also add tomato based hot sauce packets to the list of materials with which to clean the copper. it works well and rinses away clean.

secondly, i would really like to investigate how to do a solar cell with common US coins, if possible.

pennies are currently made with a 97.5% zinc core and only with a 2.5% copper coating. could the zinc be used, or perhaps the copper coating? could time and temperature be adjusted on the stove or would the process be completely different or even totally ineffective because of the different makeup.

im not very clear on the physics or chemistry involved. if anyone could offer any assistance with making this idea work, it would be appreciated greatly.

im adding other common (non-collector) coin compositions for quick reference.

nickles: since 1946 are a mixture of 75% copper and 25% nickel cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel) alloy.

dimes (2.268g,) quarters (5.67g,) and half dollars (11.34g,): since 1965 are made of cupronikle alloy sandwiching a 99.5% copper core.

Sacagawea dollar (8.1g): is a 99.5% copper core surrounded by manganese bronze, an alloy which consists of about 77% copper, 12% zinc, 7% manganese, and 4% nickel.

And no, this use of American coinage is not illegal, as it is not willful counterfeit or fraudulence.

i wants to self make a solar panel so can u help me ?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg

i wants to self make a solar panel so can u help me ?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg
kalpesh.dhalwalkar.7 made it!2 months ago

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpgPhotovoltaic_panel_at_the_National_Solar_Energy_Center_in_Israel.jpg
kalpesh.dhalwalkar.7 made it!2 months ago

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpg
kalpesh.dhalwalkar.7 made it!2 months ago

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpg
kalpesh.dhalwalkar.7 made it!2 months ago

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpg
kalpesh.dhalwalkar.7 made it!2 months ago

i want to make a solar panel because actually to buy it is costly as well after that also if i wants to replace my home electricity supply instead to solar energy can i do this?

as well my question if i generate electricity anyhow by solar power or wind power how i can store that electricity as i can use only when its need is any idea?

solar-panels-working-scheme.jpgglazed-solar-panel.jpg

Is it nessary to use a electric burner

Yes. A gas burner would not allow the oxygen to reach the copper. An oven would wake too freaking long and wouldnt work properly.

Assuming I were to make more than one of these, how would I wire them up so that I could make a small solar panel producing about 25 watts?

Assuming you have 750kg of copper, in parallel.

strmrnnr5 years ago
Just wondering if you can use two large pieces the same size with a small gap in the case. Or, do both pieces have to see the sun for it to work. Side A would be the shiny copper and side B would show the oxidized copper.
alessiof76 (author)  strmrnnr5 years ago
I can not translate well to your question, if you write it with other words i'll reply, I apologize

He is asking if the copper plates have to be the same size, and if both pieces of copper have to be facing the sun for the cell to work.

The answers to these are: No, no. The copper plates do not have to be that same size, nor do both of them have to face the sun. You will, however, have to make sure that the sheet which you heated will have to face the sun.

I added a drawing. Would this work better or do they have to be side by side?
Solar Cell.jpg
gapl strmrnnr4 years ago
hi it is nice idea can you please explain the idea to me. It would be very helpful
alessiof76 (author)  strmrnnr5 years ago
now I understand what you wanted to say! thanks! Great idea! the path of ions is a little 'longer but the whole surface of the cell can collect photons thanks for sharing your idea! it only remains to test it I apologize for my bad English Ciao Alessio
مقفلل5 months ago

think you ..you are good because explane this information

alessiof76 (author)  مقفلل5 months ago

thank you! you are very kind

what could be possible alternative of copper in doing this home made solar panel? are coal / charcoal possible? please do cater my query, badly need it for my theses write-up..thanks

alessiof76 (author)  erialc.ticklessss5 months ago

alternative to chopper could be other semiconductor... no easy to find at home

مقفلل5 months ago

think you ..you are good because explane this information

Ivraine4 years ago
Hey, I've seen this project before in a book in our school library. I believe the original project called for something along the lines of silver nitrate? It said it could produce about 4x the amount of power as yours, but it needed carcinogenic chemicals, high-power acids, and lots of money. Great project though, I liked that you didn't need to make a more complicated solution.

Silver nitrate is an inorganic compound with chemical formulaAgNO

3. This compound is a versatile precursor to many other silvercompounds, such as those used in photography. It is far less sensitive to light than the halides. It was once called lunar causticbecause silver was called luna by the ancient alchemists, who believed that silver was associated with the moon.

christacia6 months ago

if i would be increasing the size of the copper sheet, would it also increase the voltage?

jgreyes2 years ago
Sir, it is possible to increase the output of your project up to 19-20v?
TeodorJ jgreyes7 months ago

Yes, by using different electrolyte and i believe using different metal sheets.
Made from different metals.

TeodorJ7 months ago

Do I must to use copper? Aluminum is also Negative, and copper is pretty much positive.

Aluminum has -1,66 V and Copper has 0,34 V

Thus meaning we get 2V.

Please i need this fast.

papa mama1 year ago
is make a water of common salt.? .............. please reply

Yes. NaCl Common Salt Works Like A Elctrolyte

ChedSawada1 year 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)  ChedSawada1 year 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) 1 year ago
??? simple conductive ad transparent solution... H2o + NaCl
papa mama1 year 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 mama1 year ago
saturated solution of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or common salt (NaCl)
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