A Guide To Make Solar Panels At Home

It was the photoelectric process that led Albert Einstein to the work in physics that won him the prestigious Nobel prize, we have been trying to make solar panels ever since. Making your own light meter or solar panel can be costly if made of silicone by a large manufacturer; however, making your own from rudimentary supplies found at a local hardware store is simple. In the following application, the use of cuprous oxide as a semiconductor will be demonstrated to be a functional but ineffective method of converting solar radiation into electrical energy.

The secret to this project is cuprous oxide, a by-product of heating copper for a long period. Cuprous oxide provides the needed bandgap to get the fast-moving electrons to the desired destination; it is simple to make using at least a 1000-watt electric burner and copper sheeting. Using sheet-metal shears cut a small square of the copper approximately three inches by four inches and place it onto the heating coil of the burner. Set the temperature setting to high and allow the copper to sit for thirty minutes.

The process in which the copper forms a cuprous oxide coating will be visible as the burner coils get hotter and hotter. The desired result is a thick black coating; when this effect is achieved turn off the burner and leave the copper sheet in place to cool slowly. The thick black oxide will eventually flake off on its own as the metal cools.

Resist the urge to scrub the metal clean of all of the black oxide remaining after cooling. The red layer underneath is the cuprous oxide that will be necessary to make solar panels out of the copper sheets. Cut a square of copper equal to the first and wash it clean of any oils or fingerprints. Next take a one liter bottle and cut the top off in order to access the contents. Line the inside of the bottle with the two copper sheets, the side that faced up during the heating process should face outwardly, but do not allow the ends of the two sheets to touch each other.

At this point, it is necessary to mix two tablespoons of table salt into warm water and stir until the salt is dissolved. Pour the water into the bottle until it is roughly one inch from the top of the sheets. Place an alligator clamp onto the top of each sheet. Using a micro-ampere, run the positive lead to the clean sheet and the negative to the cuprous oxide-coated sheet. If you are in the sunlight there will be an automatic and immediate response from the microampere needle as the current flows through the loop.

If an individual decided to attempt to Make Solar Panels to power anything larger than the microampere, the cost of the copper and the amount of acreage needed would be counter-productive. While there have been many scientifically sound theories regarding photovoltaic cells and converters, many remain cumbersome and expensive. Cutting-edge research has led to streamlined and sexy applications for the sides of buildings and roofs, but because retro-fitting is typically necessary, the bill is enormous.