How Do You Build Your Own Solar Cell?


Quick Answer

Begin by getting two glass plates the size of microscope slide covers, and clean both with alcohol. Touch the surfaces with multimeter leads to determine which side is conductive, and then place one plate with the conductive side up and the other with its conductive side down.

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Full Answer

Tape down the plates at their long ends to keep them steady as you apply the titanium dioxide in two drops to the plate's conductive side up. Spread this evenly over both plates, and then place the plate with the conductive side up on a hot plate to bake the titanium dioxide into the glass. Brush away the titanium dioxide from the other plate, and prepare a dish with dye made from blackberry or pomegranate juice.

Soak the coated plate in dye for 10 minutes while cleaning the other one with alcohol. Mark the cleaned plate's non-conductive side with a "+" and then apply a small carbon coating to the cleaned plate's conductive side by using graphite lubricant. Rinse the dyed plate twice in de-ionized water and alcohol, and dry it after rinsing.

To make the cell, put the carbon-coated plate on the other plate so their coatings touch, and connect wires to the appropriate positive and negative sections to create a current.

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