Energy efficiency is a big talking point these days. In particular, energy generation using renewable resources such as wind,water, and sun are widely talked about. Of the three, solar power is of particular interest as it can be used to provide high amounts of electricity in sunny areas. At the same time, proper use of solar panels during high sun-shine periods of the year can be used to charge batteries that can then be used during non-sunny parts of the year.
To make a small solar panel, you can use factory made solar chip, or you can make a little solar panel using some equipment you can find at the local hardware store. You can make a small solar panel by using:
A small copper plate that will be oxidized by heating on a burner.
A small current reader (ammeter) with connecting wires.
Sand paper or wire brush.
The easiest way to build the solar panel is to heat the copper sheet on the electric stove till it develops a black film on top. Then shake off the black film, leaving the copper sheet oxidized (the red layer on top is sign of oxidation). Then, place the oxidized copper sheet (cuprous oxide), and a non-oxidized sheet of copper in a transparent jar with salt and water mixed together. Connect the negative terminal of the ammeter with the cuprous oxide sheet, and the positive with the non-oxidized sheet. Make sure that two sheets of copper do not touch each other. Now place it in the sun to see the ammeter record the electricity being produced.
However, this small solar cell is not good for generating electricity for the your house – it simply doesn’t produce enough of it! To develop a solar panel from home that can be used to power your house, you will need the following:
- Begin with an idea of what your needs are – are you building a small solar panel to recharge cell phones? Or are you looking for enough power to run most of your appliances?
- Solar chips – You can either opt to make your own solar chips, or get some ready made ones that you simply arrange in a panel and then into an array.
- Connecting wires and electric boards. The specifics of this will again depend on the nature and size of the panels you intend on making. If you haven’t worked with electric circuit boards and similar equipment, then it is highly recommended that you use a good detailed guide.
- A rechargeable battery that you can use to store electricity and use later to power appliances or whatever you want. This can be the single most expensive part of the solar power generation.
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