Creating a solar panel at home is pretty a challenging task and something that shouldn’t be tried without fully committing yourself towards a lot of work. It might not be rocket science but it’s certainly a tricky and time consuming procedure. If you’re the kind of person who thinks a hammer is nothing but an odd-shaped door stop, it might be to your advantage to leave the solar panel building to experts.
That being said, making your own personal solar panels can definitely be considered a satisfying home project by dealing with this type of project yourself you possibly can significantly reduce your costs – by 50 to 80% – over the commercially ready solar panel.
Ever since the too high price of solar panels is within large part because of the high cost of solar cells, you’ll achieve much of your cost reduction by buying damaged and used solar panels from sites for example eBay. Next, making use of your ingenuity plus some handy DIY skills, the one thing among you and a working solar panel is time and effort.
For the time being however, let’s undertake a much easier task making a single solar cell. This project is excellent fun and may show the fundamental as well as simple concept behind solar power.
What Will You Need:
1. Copper sheeting.
2. 2 alligator clip lead cables.
3. A sensitive micro-ammeter (you could find this at Radio Shack).
4. An electrical stove or perhaps a one burner hot plate should you have a gas range. If you’re purchasing a hot plate ensure it’s at least 1100 watts.
5. A big clear plastic bottle. Think 2 Liter Coke or Mineral Water bottles with all the top cut-off.
6. Just a few tablespoons of salt.
8. Sand paper, steel wool or perhaps a wire brush attachment for the electric drill.
9. Metal sheers.
The way It’s Done:
1. Cut a bit of copper sheeting at around how big is the stove burner. (Ensure that you clean up the copper sheet making use of sandpaper or steel wool to get rid of any sulfide and/or light corrosion.
2. Heat the copper sheet to the burner (in the highest heat setting)
When the copper increases its’ temperature the color will change black having a layer of cupric oxide. That is normal. Allow copper “cook” for approximately half an hour.
3. After half-hour turn off the burner and wait until copper cool. It’ll shrink – also quite common. The black cupric oxide will start to flake and detach as the two oxides and copper dissolve. It may need approximately twenty minutes for that copper for cooling, at which point you will have to remove any excess cupric oxide black film left in the copper. You may scrub lightly together with your hands below your tap.
At this time cut another bit of copper at a similar size and dimensions since the “cooked” copper.
4. Place both copper sheets to the plastic bottle, bending them thoroughly to suit and ensuring they do not touch.
5. Connect both alligator clips to every sheet, connecting the positive lead (through the “Clean copper sheet”) towards the positive terminal of the meter, and also the negative lead (the “cooked” copper sheet) towards the negative terminal of the meter.
6. Combine your 2 tablespoons of salt along with some hot water. Stir till the salt is dissolved.
7. Properly pour the salt water in to the plastic bottle being careful to prevent pouring onto the leads. An excellent guideline is always to leave no less than an inch amongst the water and the leads to help you keep moving around the device with relative ease.
A solar cell is usually a battery, so that you can expect that in the dark your meter will show just a few micro amps of current. Don’t anticipate that it’ll light a baseball field though; also it would take acres of those (literally) to power your home. I sincerely doubt there’d be sufficient power generated with this to power the light bulb. Nevertheless, when you put this device in the sunlight you will notice the meter jump to 30 micro amps of current – which may be sufficient to apply your new solar cell just like a light meter or light detector.
Making a solar panel is definitely an entirely different beast out of this; nevertheless, you now have a practical concept of how a single solar cell functions. To make a solar panel you will need to buy a lot of prefabricated solar cells – used (as outlined above) if you would like cut costs. After you have the cells, you’ll need a water-tight and robust enclosure to maintain the elements from damaging your solar panels. Solar panels are very delicate. The entire process of making the panels work within your panel enclosure is really a relatively easy process.
That’s it, Solar Power 101. For unique interest, give this a try some day when you’re bored. There’s anything satisfying than creating power from just sunlight.
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