Build Your Own Solar Panel

How to Get Started

build your own solar panel

Have you been wondering if you could build your own solar panel? Well, you're in the right place. Here we'll teach you how to make homemade solar power panels.

To build your own solar panel you first need to assemble a few supplies. These are not expensive, nor are they all a bunch of unusual items, and you should be able to pick them up at your local hardware store.

Materials you will need:

  • A sheet of cooper flashing, about ½ a square foot.
  • Two alligator clip leads
  • A sensitive micro-ammeter that can read currents between 10 and 50 microamperes
  • An electric stove with a 1100 watt burner.
  • A plastic bottle that is good size and clear, which the top can be cut off.

In addition, you will need:

  • table salt
  • tap water
  • sand paper
  • sheet metal shears

To start with you need to cut a piece of clean and dry copper sheeting to about the same size as the burner on the stove you will use. You may need to use soap and water to remove oil and grease from the copper sheet, or a wire brush to get any corrosion off.

build your own solar panel The piece of copper is placed back on the burner and the heat is turned to its highest setting. This heating of the copper will produce oxidation patterns on the copper in an assortment of colors. Leaving the copper atop the burner allows the copper to get even hotter and soon the colors will be replaced with a coating of black cupric oxide. The copper is allowed to continue to cook for 30 minutes then the heat is turned off and the copper is allowed to cool slowly. As the copper cools, it will shrink along with the black cupric oxide. The oxide will start to flake off. Once the copper has cooled completely, it can be washed gently by hand in an effort to get the remaining oxide off the copper.

Now that the copper is prepared, one needs to cut another piece of copper the same size as the original piece. Bending both pieces fit them into the clear plastic. Add salt and water to the jar, then connect the leads to both the copper pieces and the jar. That is basically all you need to do to build your own solar panel. For a more detailed description of these instructions, including pictures, refer to this website.

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