Making a homemade solar cell is not very practical. For one, there are inexpensive solar panels available in the market these days. You can find great bargains online. Second, making a solar cell is a very tedious process. You will spend a lot of time making one. A solar panel consists of hundreds of solar cells. Imagine the time and effort you would have to spend in completing one that can generate the electricity you need for your house.
But if you want to try making a homemade solar cell, perhaps for educational purposes or just for the fun of it,then here are the things you will need:
- A half square foot of copper flashing sheet
- An electric stove
- 2 alligator clips
- Large clear plastic bottle
- Couple tablespoons of salt
- Metal shears
- Tap water
The first thing you need to do is to cut the copper sheet to the same size as your electric burner. Be sure to clean the sheet with sandpaper. It has to be clean before you place it on the burner.
Once you’re sure that it is clean, place it on the burner and turn the burner on to the highest setting. Leave the copper sheet for around thirty minutes. Once the copper sheet is covered with a thick black coating, turn the burner off and let the copper sheet cool down for at least twenty minutes.
When the cooper sheet cools down, the black oxide coating will disappear. It will be colored red with black spots. Now get another piece of copper sheet. It should be the same size as the first one. Get the plastic bottle, and cut it about the same height as the copper sheets.
Now bend both copper sheets and place them in the plastic bottle. Make sure that both sheets are not touching each other.
Then take the alligator clips, and connect the burned copper sheet to the negative terminal of the micro-ammeter. Connect the unburned cooper sheet to the positive terminal.
Finally, mix a few tablespoons of salt with some hot tap water. Put your salt mixture into the bottle, leaving a quarter of an inch of copper sheet above the water. Now place your homemade solar cell under sunlight. If done correctly, current will be registered in the micro-ammeter. It will be about 33 microamperes.
As you can see, this homemade solar cell is impractical. With the same amount of energy you would spend to make a single cell, you could create a solar stove, made out of aluminum foil and cardboard.