How to make your own Solar Panel

written by: Angela1974

There are so many reasons these days that you might be considering switching over to solar energy; conservation of the environment and money being just two. When you decide to make the change to solar energy however you need to make the decision as to whether you wish to install pre-made packs, or whether you are going to try your hand at making your own panel.

If you wish to make your own solar panel then the good news is that it is neither that difficult to achieve great results, nor is it actually expensive. By installing solar panels in your home you will be taking advantage of the conversion of sun light into electricity via solar cells and you can find everything you need to make your solar panel in the home or in your local hardware store.

Firstly, you need to make sure that you are prepared and this means having all the necessary materials at hand. To make your own solar panel you will require a hotplate of a minimum of 1100 watts, a micro ammeter, some sheet metal shears, tap water, safety goggles and a two liter plastic or glass recipient. You will also need around three tablespoons of salt, some copper flashing, sand paper, and lastly two alligator clips.

With all your materials carefully laid out you can start to make your own solar panel and the first step is to cut the copper flashing with the shears to a size that will fit the electric burner. To ensure that the copper is totally clean and rust free you can use some sandpaper to rub away any visible signs of corrosion. With the copper flashing cut to size, you then need to cook it on the burner until it develops a thick layer of cupric oxide; this usually takes around a minimum of thirty minutes.

Once the layer of cupric acid has formed on the copper you need to allow the copper to cool. As the copper cools down, the cupric oxide will begin to flake and can do so quite violently as it will cool at a different rate to the original copper underneath. Once the plate is properly cooled you need to concentrate on scraping away the remaining oxide with the aid of water. When you make your own solar panel this stage needs some care and attention as you do not wish to remove the red cuprous oxide, only the top blackened layer.

The next stage when you make your own solar panel is to cut another piece of copper sheeting to the same size. These two panels then need to be carefully attached to the inside of the glass or plastic two liter receptacle with the alligator clips making sure that they follow the curvature of the bottle and that they do not overlap or touch.

The lead from the clean plate then needs to be attached to the positive terminal of the meter, the negative terminal then being connected to the cuprous oxide plate. The last stage when you make your own solar panel is to barely cover the plates with a salt water solution making sure that the alligator clips stay well clear of the water. Finally, by placing your panel in the sunshine you will see the meter gauge rise, this ensuring that you have indeed been successful in making your own solar panel.

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