One Way To Make Solar Panels At Home

Nov 11, 2011 · 2 mins read

This is a way you can make a solar panel at home from very basic materials and very inexpensively. It is not what I would recommend if you want to make solar panels to power your home, but it is a fun experiment into solar power.

To make a good solar panel requires silicon, but silicon is one of the main reasons solar panels tend to be expensive. Therefore this experiment into how to make solar panels will use a more inexpensive material, cuprous oxide. Cuprous oxide has the same properties that we want to take advantage of as any other metal compound, it’s photoelectric, but not as much as silicon, which is why silicon is preferred, but it is much less expensive.

What Do You Need To Make Solar Panels With Cuprous Oxide?

You will need a 1000 watt electric coil heater (found on an electric stove), and a square copper dish (the source of our cuprous oxide).

The Procedure:

Begin by cleaning the copper dish thoroughly. You may want to use sand paper to get any crud from cooking off the copper. Next heat the copper dish for one hour. As the temperature increases the dish will oxidize changing color from its original copper color to brown, and then black. When the dish becomes black stop heating it. The black part is now cuprous oxide. Let it cool. Once it is cool, clean the soot off of the cuprous oxide. Do this carefully so as not to remove the cuprous oxide beneath.

Next get a plastic bottle big enough that the copper plate will fit inside. Cut off the top or whatever you need to do to open it up. Place the copper plate on it with the cuprous oxide side facing towards the dish. Place another piece of copper that has had the above procedure done to it inside the plastic bottle but not touching the other copper plate. Add a mixture of salty water to the bottle covering roughly 80% of the copper dish that’s inside the bottle. Connect a micrometer to the two copper pieces, the positive end to the copper plate, and the negative end to the cuprous oxide plate. Now place the whole thing in the sun. Take a look at the meter, and congratulations, you have just learned to make solar panels.

Solar power has huge benefits. It is pollution free, does not use up our limited natural supplies of fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, and it is becoming increasingly less expensive. It does not release greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which helps prevent global warming, and it is infinite, coming directly from the sun. So make solar panels, and take advantage of all these benefits!