Learning how to make solar panels is very important whether you are doing it as a family or college activity. It trains you on how you can come up with an alternative source of energy in your home or corporate institution. Solar panels are used to harness energy from the sun by converting it to electricity that can be used in a wide range of domestic and commercial applications.
Creation of negative and positive charges occurs when sun rays hit the panels. After separation of negative and positive charges, electric current is created. There are simple steps that can be followed in making solar panels using supplies that are readily available from your local hardware outlet.
Steps to follow in Making Solar Panels
Although some people think that learning how to make solar panels is a hard task, this is not usually the case. Below are ten simple steps that you can follow when making solar panels at home or at school.
1. Gather the necessary materials for making solar panels. These include shears for cutting sheet metals, copper flashing, electric stove, table salt, wire brush or sand paper, micro-ammeter which is a device for measuring electric current and alligator clips among others.
2. Wash copper sheet and your hands to get rid of any oil or grease. Cut copper flashing using metal shears in rectangle or square sizes that fit your electric stove. A sand paper or wire brush should be used to clean copper sheet to ensure no oil or corrosion remains on the sheet before proceeding.
3. Dry your copper flashing properly then place them on your electric stove or burner and turn it on. Make sure that the burner is heating your copper flashing at the highest temperature possible. After some minutes, colour of the metal sheets will change their colour as a result of the oxidation process.
4. Cupric oxide will form a thick layer on the surface of your copper flashing. Turn off your burner to give copper sheet time to cool slowly while still on the burner. Cupric oxide that forms on the surface of the sheet starts flaking because the oxide coating and copper have varying shrinking rates.
5. After cooling your sheet for about 20 minutes, pass it under running water scrubbing off the remaining coat of the oxide. This should be done gently to avoid removing cuprous oxide that result from the heating process.
6. Cut another copper sheet or flashing of similar size and shape. Use alligator clips to connect and fasten clean plates of copper with the positive terminal of the micro-ammeter. Connect cuprous oxide to negative terminal of the alligator lead.
7. Put the panels inside a plastic bottle or glass jaw with a wide mouth. Make sure that panels do not touch each other and that they bend in a way that ensure they match the shape of the curves of the bottle or glass jar.
8. Make a solution by dissolving salt in hot water. Stir the salt properly so that it dissolves well. Ensure that the solution that you make is adequate for your panels.
9. Pour this solution in the bottle with the copper sheets so that it covers them with only an inch remaining uncovered. However, be careful not to wet alligator clips. Clips should be left dry and high.
10. Place the solar panels in the sun. You will realize that current gauge will jump rapidly indicating the current generated by your panels. Before placing your panels in the sun, you will note a current reading of as low as 5 micro amps. However, after placing the panels in the sun this reading can jump to as high as 10 times the initial reading in a shadow. This is similar to 25 volts.
Although this amount of voltage may not be sufficient to power one light bulb, it is a simple exercise that demonstrates how to make solar panels by following ten simple steps. With this knowledge, you can transform energy from the sun into important energy that can be used in various applications that would have used electricity.
Today, many people and institutions are turning to solar panels energy to supplement other sources of energy. Basically, learning how to make solar panels can help in reducing monthly electricity bill for your home or corporate institution.