DIY Solar Cells Big Rapids MI

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 Big Rapids, MI that will answer all of your questions about Solar Cells.

Cash & Carry Do it center
(231) 796-3595
130 South Third Avenue
Big Rapids, MI
 
Fastenal- Big Rapids
231-796-2347
1417 N. State St Big Rapids, MI, 49307
Big Rapids, MI
 
Kmart 3805 / Cross Merch
(231) 796-5200
1250 Perry St
Big Rapids, MI
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Bradley's Hardware
(231) 972-8710
100 W Main
Mecosta, MI
 
Smith Lumber Co. Of Evart
(231) 734-5513
202 North River Street
Evart, MI
 
Lowe's
(231) 580-2000
21555 Perry Avenue
Big Rapids, MI
Hours
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Big Rapids - Auth Hometown
(231) 796-7406
710 Perry Avenue
Big Rapids, MI
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16
Store Features
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16

Canadian Lakes Ace Hardware
(231) 972-1319
8370 100th Ave
Stanwood, MI
 
Reed City Hardware
(231) 832-5302
114 West Upton Avenue
Reed City, MI
 
Hometown Hardware
(231) 734-5831
104 South Main
Evart, MI
 

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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