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Author Topic: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !  (Read 141406 times)

Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2009, 04:50:09 PM »
Silicon might not be the best material to begin with. It is the most popular because  they have spent more time tweeking that one material. It being the most difficult to grow as a single crystal wafer to obtain a higher level of purity has been the solar industries focus.
  The properties of silicone which lead to a reaction favorable to convert light are more important then the silicone itself. High output cells verses low output cells and why.
   I picture there being a 1-2-3 process. High wide dirty light vibration in ,then means to filter vibration to enable to separate layers one diamagnetic one magnetic both translucent and thin and able to become polarized with the electrodes stuck on the outsides. One has to allow some light to pass through the top all the way to back side electrode. Some classes of material dissolve in an alkali some in acids the dye is the filter that knocks the vibration back to a cleaner rate of vibration on the back side compared to the chaotic rate on the front side thereby creating a potential difference front to back. If you cant make a pure crystal and cut into a wafer maybe there is a way to bias a bunch of tiny particles by introducing a range of vibrations to a thin layer of random crystal layer to cancel out part of the light spectrum as it passes to the back electrode. A choke of sorts, but more in line with the way sound canceling works. Does a typical solar cell show that proximity to high frequency disturbances effects the output? I dont have a signal generator maybe just a speaker and win amp will suffice and a cheap solar powered calculator.
  If so then you can use any opposite materials that will satisfy the other requirements of being translucent conductive and either more P or N in nature. If an outside range of frequency will F up a cell maybe the right one will improve it or open up the door to a number of better easier materials that are free.
  As far as giving power back to the grid they can kiss my butt.I would rather send the extra to ground and fry worms or power a foam finger with the extended finger moved to the position of the middle finger tied to a motor to wave at the utility company trucks when they drive by.
   Im thinking zirconium
 

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Offline capthook

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2009, 09:42:20 PM »
Silicon might not be the best material to begin with. It is the most popular because  they have spent more time tweeking that one material. It being the most difficult to grow as a single crystal wafer to obtain a higher level of purity has been the solar industries focus.
  The properties of silicone which lead to a reaction favorable to convert light are more important then the silicone itself. High output cells verses low output cells and why.
 

Silicon is the best material to date for a number of reasons.
It is easily doped with boron (p) and phosphorous (n) that results in very loosely held electrons due to the structure of silicon.  The energy required to "knock loose" these electrons is almost exactly the energy of a photon.
Different materials are less efficient in they require more energy and/or can utilize only a small spectrum of light to "knock loose" the electrons.

Mono-crystalline silicon is the most efficient and hardest to grow and most expensive.
All the 'grains' are alligned, giving an easy path for the electrons to flow.
-> -> -> ->

Poly-crystalline is a bit more disordered and thus less efficient but cheaper and easier to grow.
->   ->
  ->      ->

Amorphous is total disorder and much less efficient but much easier to produce.
-> ^  <- ^  -> ^
   /        \      |

The primary consideration of new materials is how well the doped electron bonds are matched to the energy of a photon.

Offline infringer

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2009, 04:43:49 AM »
Yes mono seems to be rather nice bot oddly enough manufacturing is making a shift to gretzel cells discussed in this thread because they can be made at a very low cost...

Anyhow I'm glad you brought that up capthook while no one can say weather silicon is the best solution it seems to be at the time but things tend to change drastically and quickly in the renewable energy field.

But I say we follow the course I have some time to go but I will kick off possibly next weekend depending I still need to do some studies with the panel I have made...
More so with the electronics I noticed it was putting out just over 19v peak early morning so high noon it may be more I need to learn ...

My main hurdle now is how to keep a continued voltage of 12v  and regulate it so that the voltage stays the same and either gains current or drops current stepping up and down the voltage automatically...

Just a lot of projects going on currently:
1. Testing my current panel learning how to regulate voltage which should be fairly basic maybe a simple zenner diode would do the trick...
2. Setting up all my PC's to sleep and respond to the WOL packet or WOLWOW packet... so when I wanna transfer files over the network I can wake them then let them fall back into sleep.
3. Setting up Active Home Pro from x10.com so that I can control my power outlets and lights on a timer, remote, or motion sensor.
4. Installing digital programmable thermostat.
5. Working on a camaro top half of the engine.
6. Making a larger solar panel with 3x6 cells still need some materials with that.
7. A full time job that sucks most of my time and life out of me...
8. Then finally yes finally I can do some testing with DIY solar so I am a ways out indeed but I now finally have all of the items required I believe to make a gretzel cell...

Just as a kicker the rest of you should look into home automation all of your devices that remain in a standby state you would be supprised on how much cash you can save on your power bill and still have the same ease of usage it will pay for itself within a year is my estimate and that is probably being less generous then I should be...

Anyhow I will keep tabs on this until I have time to further test. Thanks again for your contributions this is a great thread do not let it fizzel out this is what solar is migrating to this same very cell there is a good reason for it low cost production and decent efficiency ...

Enjoy,

PS please someone help Stephan out with is water soluable silicon salt issue he is making excellent effort and progress!


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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2009, 04:43:49 AM »
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Offline mdmiller

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2009, 05:24:07 PM »
if you are interested in a simple cell fabrication process, I've found this link a good read:

Paint solar cell and its fabrication
http://www.google.com/patents?id=4ZQRAAAAEBAJ&dq=6689950

to summarize, it describes an n-doped yellow paint applied over a thin aluminum sheet which functions as the back electrode with a p-doped black paint over it, and a colloidal silver-in-resin front electrode.

for the black paint the recommended pigment/doping is copper sulfide and the yellow paint pigment is cadium tin oxide.

for it's utter simplicity the patent is lengthy and you'll need to get to page 9 for a better description of the components.

I have some copper sulfate, not sure if I can easily turn it into copper sulfide.

good luck - Duane



Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2009, 05:34:08 PM »
Paint pigments in general provides a possible avenue for applying materials. It's amazing what pigments are made from and the carriers of the pigments for different types of coatings. From a historical point some pigments are actually pretty cool. There was once some mention of carbon black. I think shoe polish is made from from carbon black in a wax and oil carrier which be something that can be burned off and combined with a very diluted polymer as a binder.
    The patent mentioned in one of the posts the uses a capacitor material as one of the features of the design was a great bummer. Thought I had thought of that first. Regarding pigment materials they do filter out certain wave lengths by reflecting the wavelength which represents the color and absorbing the rest of the wavelengths which result in heat build up in the coating. The carriers have to be super thin and the pigments well dispersed. To much pigment will prevent light from reaching very far into the layer.
   Good thing because some of these materials are expensive. Titatium powder is over 100. us per lbs
 Considering how thin it would have be to be transparent a 1lb would last a life time once oxidized.
  Ever see how they would lift finger prints off an item on the old CSI TV series. They put crazy glue in a box or bag in a container and a small source of fire like a candle or burning paper and the smoke would stick to the finger print. Not sure but I think the vapor from the glue drying caused the smoke to stick to the finger print. Maybe something like that can put to use on this if the finite materials are mixed in with the burning of something in the presence of crazy glue vapors.

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2009, 05:34:08 PM »
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Offline mdmiller

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2009, 06:35:25 PM »
titanium dioxide seen in the youtube vids of people experimenting with the Graetzel raspberry cell is used by your local pottery makers as an opacifier.  it's pretty cheap ($10 a pound) and readily available, they will also have zinc oxide ZnO ($6 a pound) , but your can usually buy much smaller quantities than a pound.  ZnO as a pigment is noted in this patent for use in the n-doping of the outer paint layer.  He notes the pigment should not exceed 50 to 80 percent by volume so the layer is not opaque.   Polyurethane is a binder he mentions.

 If I understand it correctly, the goal is to get the p-layer electron holes in the first layer of black paint to be filled by excess electrons from the n-layer of the outside yellow paint, thus they must migrate through the p-n junction,  i.e. achieve electron flow.

the beauty of this thin film paint solution is the elimination of the electrolyte (and the simplicity of manufacture, of course)

Offline triffid

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2009, 09:53:50 PM »
Zinc oxide can be made at home in very small amounts.Two zinc plated bolts in a solution of(put in some baking soda) baking soda and water.Run a dc (12 volts or less)current through it
and the white layer that forms on one bolt is zinc oxide.Triffid

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2009, 09:53:50 PM »
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Offline triffid

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2009, 09:56:40 PM »
zinc oxide is conductive just like tin oxide.Triffid

Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2009, 12:41:52 PM »
 I bagged a wide format printer needs some minor repairs when it gets here but it will make experimenting with the printing of the cells a little more practical. Screen printing Ive done and it makes too much mess. I can hopefully avoid divorce court with a printer and it can earn a little bit of money to pay for itself.
   Pottery suppliers have thinned out around here, left with ordering from NY city. Thats where I got all the zirconium I have left over from another project. I will have to check the cat for the other items. Less expensive then the raw metals from the sound of it.
    I remember a time the solar industry had a write up leading readers to believe they would be producing kits or supplies to produce printed cells from an inkjet printer. That was a long time ago and while they have continued to work with some advancements they appear to be geared only to the commercial production of the cells not to the public having access to it. In retrospect I guess that was stupid on my part to think they were going to start shifting from manufacture to supply and leave the manufacture to the general public. Car wraps could become PV wraps ,roofs could go back to being made of metal and they could be wrapped. Coat the underside of long sheets with peltier dots and use it to not only block the sun but to cool the underside and use the sheets to stop the coastal ice from melting away at the north or south poles. Float a cover over a man made water reseviour to supply a community with the power to run a  pump station and the water itself can be used as a geothermal tank for heating and cooling plus it supplies you with water. You could spend all day thinking of stuff you could use it for and it doesn't have to be all that efficient if the source of the energy is free from the sun. With all the possible uses you would think they be working a little bit harder and a bit faster to perfect this technology. If it was a drug to make you stop sneezing but had the possible side effects of making your winky fall off or leakage from your anus they would have have had it going on in twenty minutes.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2009, 12:41:52 PM »
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Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2009, 07:14:15 PM »
Hay they do have a lot of stuff and a online store. Pottery supplies.
chemistry smorgasbord http://www.7ceramic.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=CHEM_100
  I see Tin and titanium oxides and a lot cheaper then the way I was gonna go.Wow they have a lot of nasty's on there are they making pottery or fire works.

Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2009, 06:55:08 PM »
zinc oxide is conductive just like tin oxide.Triffid

Is Zinc Oxid only conductive, if it has enough
other substances in it, so if it not very pure ?

I have seen infos, that ZincOxid is mixed with Aluminium
for putting it onto glas for the display industry.

So how do we get the ALuminium into it easily ?

Regards, Stefan.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #55 on: March 05, 2009, 06:55:08 PM »
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Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2009, 08:03:05 PM »
Alumina Hydrate

Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #57 on: March 06, 2009, 06:37:05 PM »
I modified a picture from HowStuffWorks on the solar cell and threw in the idea of using colloidal minerals in two glass reservoirs that are connected by a copper plate to allow transfer of electrons between the Platinum doped silver colloid layer (P layer) and the Zinc doped Silver colloid layer (N layer).

The trouble with collodal minerals is that they tend to be light sensitive. They would probably not be stable, but the idea just needed to be thrown out there and looking for suggestions. This would ultimately not be very expensive at all to build, and copper wires can be used for the current flow.

Offline triffid

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #58 on: March 06, 2009, 06:41:41 PM »
I agree with Doug1 that they seem to plan to keep solar power production centralized so that you have to pay a power company for it.But you can use a 12 volt system for your electrical needs.If you keep your electrical needs small.You need to remember to keep your electrical connections less than 20 feet long or your dc losses will be too great.Also to get more electricity out of your silicon panels(up to 10x) you can simply reflect up to 10x the sunlight on your panels.You can use a car battery to store your electricity(you must keep it topped off,the battery that is).I used car batteries for 9 years without a problem to operate a small black and white tv.I really do believe in small 12 volt systems.Triffid

Offline jeanna

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #59 on: March 06, 2009, 10:10:10 PM »
Hi everyone,
I am not too sure where this panel thread is, but I may be able to help a little with a couple of points if they are still of interest.

In one of my recent incarnations I was a weaver/spinner and dyer using natural dyes. Here goes.

Plant dyes have binding sites that bind to metallic salts. The different metals can affect the light fastness of the color. Perhaps the titanium itself will work as a lightfast binder.

Tin, chromium and iron were in common use for centuries.

Most natural dyers these days use Alum which is usually potassium aluminum sulphate. An acetate version also works. It is called alum acetate. Perhaps this will be a convenient way to get aluminum into the mix. (I am not sure if the request for aluminum is from a different formula.)

If you do need lightfast dyes the 4 best sources are

madder
indigo species
weld
eucalyptus leaves

madder is a good source for the red dye alizarin
indigo uses a multi step reduction/oxidation process and may not be a good choice here
weld is a good source for the yellow dye luteolin.
eucalyptus leaves when cooked at 185 F for 10 minutes at least make a lightfast dye usually brownish, sometimes red. - smells good too.

Good luck!

jeanna

 

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