DIY Solar Cells Owatonna MN

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 Owatonna, MN that will answer all of your questions about Solar Cells.

(507) 446-4900
1280 21St Avenue Nw
Owatonna, MN
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Alexander Lumber Do it center
(507) 451-7710
419 N. Cedar St
Owatonna, MN
Arrow Ace Hardware
(507) 451-4966
208 N Cedar Ave
Owatonna, MN
Owatonna - Auth Hometown
(507) 455-9186
6380 W Frontage Rd
Medford, MN
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Store Features

Charlie's Hdwe Do it center
(507) 835-1097
121 Second Street N W
Waseca, MN
True Value
(507) 451-7978
121 Oakdale St
Owatonna, MN
Runnings Fleet & Farm
(507) 451-6595
225 W. Rose St.
Owatonna, MN
Fastenal- Owatonna
1065 26th Place NW Owatonna, MN, 55060
Owatonna, MN
Met-Con Lumber & Hdwe
(507) 332-6823
1515 30th Street Nw
Faribault, MN
B - Z Hardware
(507) 583-4469
323 East Main Street
Blooming Prairie, MN

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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