DIY Solar Cells Ankeny IA

This page provides useful content and local businesses that can help with your search for Solar Cells. You will find helpful, informative articles about Solar Cells, including "Solar4Scholars: Make Your Own Solar Cell". You will also find local businesses that provide the products or services that you are looking for. Please scroll down to find the local resources in Ankeny, IA that will answer all of your questions about Solar Cells.

The Home Depot
(515)963-1890
2335 SE Delaware Ave
Ankeny, IA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(515)287-7269
4900 SE 14th St
Des Moines, IA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Fastenal- Ankeny
515-964-9413
201 SE Shurfine Suite 5 Ankeny, IA, 50021
Ankeny, IA
 
BRADLEY TOOLS & FASTENERS, INC.
(515) 331-0878
6250 NW Beaver Dr Ste A-4 Johnston, IA, 50131
Johnston, IA
 
Fastenal- Des Moines
515-263-0053
3120 Delaware Ave Des Moines, IA, 50313
Des Moines, IA
 
The Home Depot
(515)251-5819
10850 Plum Drive
Urbandale, IA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(515)221-2233
3700 University Ave
West Des Moines, IA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Johnston Ace Hardware
(515) 276-2854
5800 Merle Hay Rd, HyVee & Greenbriar Restaurant
Johnston, IA
 
Park Fair Ace Hardware
(515) 243-6000
100 E Euclid Ste 11, Park Fair Mall
Des Moines, IA
 
Leachman Lumber Co.
(515) 265-1621
1921 Hubbel Ave
Des Moines, IA
 

Solar4Scholars: Make Your Own Solar Cell

You will need:

  • A small (2' x 1') sheet of copper flashing (available at your local hardware store)
  • An electric stove (a propane torch may also be used)
  • A large clear plastic bottle
  • Table salt
  • Tap water
  • Sandpaper (or steel wool)
  • Sheet metal shears (also called "tin snips")
  • Two alligator clip leads
  • A micro-ammeter (available from Radio Shack or other electronics store)

Instructions: How to build a solar cell

  1. Cut the piece of copper sheeting, so that it fits the stove burner. Clean it first, so that there is no corrosion or other materials. Use the sandpaper.
  2. Heat the copper sheeting until it is red hot. This will create two kinds of copper oxide: cuprous oxide is the one you are interested in. It will be red or tinges of orange or pink. This will be found underneath the black cupric oxide (which is no use to us). These copper oxides will begin to form after only a few minutes, but let the copper 'fry' for up to half an hour, forming a fairly thick coat of cupric oxide.
  3. Turn off the stove and let the copper flashing cool slowly. The copper will shrink as it cools, and some or most of the black cupric oxide will actually pop off. Remove the copper from the stove element, once it has cooled (after about 20 minutes).
  4. Lightly clean or rub the copper flashing with the sandpaper, under running tap water if you wish. Remove the cupric oxide but be sure to not remove much of the cuprous oxide.
  5. Cut another piece of copper about the same size as the first. Bend both pieces of copper and set them inside the jar or bottle, making sure they are not touching. Connect the two plates to the ammeter. Connect the plate with cuprous oxide to the negative terminal and the clean plate to the positive terminal. You now have a solar cell, with a charge being read on the micro-ammeter.

Test your panel

Take your solar cell out into the sunlight and watch the micro-ammeter jump. In shade, you will get very low micro-amperage, but in the su...

Click here to read more from The Solar Guide

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