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Author Topic: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !  (Read 142238 times)

Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #90 on: April 17, 2009, 05:41:28 PM »
Res
 what are you using for the transparent electrode?

Apperently I do not understand the mechanism. The CIGS cells use copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (or Sulfer) as the combination that is melded. My cell was a Carbon pigment mixed with silver and magnesium colloids, and then spread onto the aluminum sheet. This was baked on a grill to meld the layers. I was under the impression that by shining light on the aluminum side that this would eject electrons into the (silver and magnesium)-doped carbon layer, and by connecting the probes of a volt-meter on each side, that a current would flow.

No current was evident.

So now I see that perhaps I misunderstood. I need to go back and learn more about how solar cells, and the CIGS solar cells work and how they are put together, where the electrodes are connected and what electrodes are composed of.

I thought it was much more simple than it actually is.

If I understand it correctly, I was thinking of using the CIGS combination and replace Copper with Silver, which is in the same Group of the Atomic Table, then replace Indium with an element in the same Group. I was thinking Aluminum, but now I am thinking I need a transparent electrode, which would need to be a transparent glass or plastic with a conductive coating material to act as the front electrode and maybe aluminum as the back electrode.

Gallium, Silver, and Magnesium come as colloides. I was thinking of melding these together on an aluminum sheet by baking at about 200°F , then covering it with a glass that is conductive by painting a very thin silver coating on it, or using the silver colloid baked on it to form the front electrode. This would give me the silver coated glass as the front electrode, and the aluminum as the back electrode.

RR2




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Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #91 on: April 17, 2009, 09:08:29 PM »
Apperently I do not understand the mechanism. The CIGS cells use copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (or Sulfer) as the combination that is melded. My cell was a Carbon pigment mixed with silver and magnesium colloids, and then spread onto the aluminum sheet. This was baked on a grill to meld the layers. I was under the impression that by shining light on the aluminum side that this would eject electrons into the (silver and magnesium)-doped carbon layer, and by connecting the probes of a volt-meter on each side, that a current would flow.

No current was evident.

So now I see that perhaps I misunderstood. I need to go back and learn more about how solar cells, and the CIGS solar cells work and how they are put together, where the electrodes are connected and what electrodes are composed of.

I thought it was much more simple than it actually is.

If I understand it correctly, I was thinking of using the CIGS combination and replace Copper with Silver, which is in the same Group of the Atomic Table, then replace Indium with an element in the same Group. I was thinking Aluminum, but now I am thinking I need a transparent electrode, which would need to be a transparent glass or plastic with a conductive coating material to act as the front electrode and maybe aluminum as the back electrode.

Gallium, Silver, and Magnesium come as colloides. I was thinking of melding these together on an aluminum sheet by baking at about 200°F , then covering it with a glass that is conductive by painting a very thin silver coating on it, or using the silver colloid baked on it to form the front electrode. This would give me the silver coated glass as the front electrode, and the aluminum as the back electrode.

RR2





Hi ResinRat,
you need a transparent electrode and a very thin mikrometer thick P-N semiconductor layer.
In the Graetzel cells the PN-layer is the Indium-Tin-Oxid-electrode and the Tindioxid.
Between those surfaces we have the PN-layer.

The Iodide electrolyte is only to transport the electrons away and the "tea" or "juice" ink is just to
convert the UV light into the visible light to get the cell intothe right optical "working point".

Have again a look at making your own Tinoxid electrodes:

http://www.teralab.co.uk/Experiments/Conductive_Glass/Conductive_Glass_Page1.htm

Also this guy has a method to use a evapouration chamber to coat things with
very small metal surfaces:

http://www.teralab.co.uk/Experiments/Evaporation/Vacuum_Coating.htm

Seems not too complicated, if you have this low pressure equipment.
Look at the paper with a copper layer on it at the bottom of the page...


Well, if you have a colloidal silver pulser you can also coat
things with a small silver coating,
if you let the colloidal silver pulser run for a longer time.
(a few hours)

Then put some oil into the water and the silver particles
will drop out of the water and coat to any surface put into the
water.
At least in one experiment of mine, it had coated the glas walls
of my drinking glas, where I generated the coilladal silver water in...

Maybe if you put some other glas squares in there it will
also coat it ?

Regards, Stefan.

Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #92 on: April 20, 2009, 03:51:10 AM »
Res
  I dont feel there is any way to get around the vapor deposited coating for the glass electrode.The material used to make coating is super thin only a couple molecules thick so light can pass onto the active layer on top of the base plate (al) . The conductive material for the glass has to have low melt point and in turn a low vapor point. That way the gas it makes is not so hot that it destroys the glass. Yet hot enough to let the particulates to melt into the glass surface which would be all lower temperatures with plastics. Kind of like making good BBQ slowly cooked so you get some measure of smoke to enter the meat and make a smoke ring. If you ever watch those CSI TV shows they place a cap of crazy glue in a box and let it evaporate in the box.While they let something smolder that emits smoke in the box with the evaporating glue. The glue vapor sticks to finger prints on an object and the smoke sticks to the that and they can lift the prints off all most any surface. If you have some type of conductive material that can be burned into a vapor or gas maybe you can let the vapor enter into a box and use the same trick. You have to replace the finger prints with some sort of coating for the smoke/vapor to stick to. White solder flux might work in the thinnest amount you can manage. it would not be as stable but it might work on the simple and cheap. then leave the silver and magnesium colloids as a wet paste and apply to the back plate electrode placing the glass or plastic on top of the wet mix and let it dry out slow so you dont get air bubbles in between the top transparent piece and the base.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #92 on: April 20, 2009, 03:51:10 AM »
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Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #93 on: April 20, 2009, 12:31:39 PM »
Thanks Stefan, Hydro, Wayne, and Doug1,

I appreciate the comments.

The Low-E glass has an extra coating on it that I really don't want, but the idea of coating the glass with silver to make it conductive is exactly what I am looking for.

I am having a series of glass squares being cut so I can conduct several experiments. I am hoping I won't need to use vapor-depositing to form the transparent electrode because this is beyond the ability of the average person to do. That includes myself. I am also going to try to form a conductive plastic or polymer front electrode as well. This would be the best because having a flexible electrode that wasn't prone to breakage would be ideal.

Dave (RR2)


Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #94 on: April 20, 2009, 09:32:20 PM »
Res
  I checked the white type flux paste it does not appear to be conductive. The amber type is not also.
  I was guessing that the white type might have TIo2 in it for the white pigment. Have not tried to cook it down to get it more condensed. cant believe I dont have any crazy glue. Any other day there are tubes of it every where. Some one must have done me a favor and cleaned up. No good deed goes unpunished particularly when it is good for them and not for whom it was intended to be good for. Have you guessed it was a mother inlaw. She wonders why I am moving almost 900 miles away.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #94 on: April 20, 2009, 09:32:20 PM »
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Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #95 on: April 20, 2009, 11:54:40 PM »
Thanks Stefan, Hydro, Wayne, and Doug1,

I appreciate the comments.

The Low-E glass has an extra coating on it that I really don't want, but the idea of coating the glass with silver to make it conductive is exactly what I am looking for.

I am having a series of glass squares being cut so I can conduct several experiments. I am hoping I won't need to use vapor-depositing to form the transparent electrode because this is beyond the ability of the average person to do. That includes myself. I am also going to try to form a conductive plastic or polymer front electrode as well. This would be the best because having a flexible electrode that wasn't prone to breakage would be ideal.

Dave (RR2)



Hi Dave(RR2),
please look into mixing dotated semiconductive Tindioxid with dotated semiconductive Titandioxid and heat it and then
try to paint this onto alufoil or graphite paper and then use
berry juice or this tea and use K-Iodid solution ( this Betadyne or how it is called for desinfektion purposes) to mix in it.

Then put this all in Betadyne(or how it is called ) electrolyte and use a graphite paper as the second electrode.

It is important, that the sunlight will reach microscopic layers of SnO2 and TiO2, where the PN-Layer is located
and that the freed electrons can move into the electrolyte and get to the electrodes.

Maybe we can do this all via electroplating or colloidal solution to deposit layer too...

I guess we need to do many experiments to find out a good cheap solution.

Regards, Stefan.

Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #96 on: April 21, 2009, 01:38:28 AM »
Hi Stefan,

Is this drawing representative of what you mean?

I don't know what dotated semiconductive Tindioxid or dotated semiconductive Titandioxid is. What does dotated mean?

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #96 on: April 21, 2009, 01:38:28 AM »
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Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #97 on: April 21, 2009, 02:26:04 PM »
Hi Resinrat,

no, more like this.

It is looking more like a galvanical cell, but there will be no use up
of the electrodes, if you coat the aluminium foil totally with the mix.
Maybe also a better electrode instead of alufoil could be used instead of Aluminium,
maybe stainless steel will work better ?

Picture attached.

Regards, Stefan.

Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #98 on: April 21, 2009, 04:56:03 PM »
Solar battery? That would resolve needing batteries to store the power secondary to the cells.
  So what happens when you add iodine to a battery and leave the electrolite exposed to light? Clear case battery few mirrors to increase the light onto it.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #98 on: April 21, 2009, 04:56:03 PM »
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Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #99 on: April 22, 2009, 02:39:39 AM »
Thanks for your description Stefan. There are many webpages on the Net that describe the Graetzel Cell. I think I am beginning to understand the mechanism.

Dave (RR2)



Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #100 on: April 22, 2009, 03:04:49 AM »
Solar battery? That would resolve needing batteries to store the power secondary to the cells.
  So what happens when you add iodine to a battery and leave the electrolite exposed to light? Clear case battery few mirrors to increase the light onto it.

No, it should be NO Battery, but just a solarcell !

The alufoil is only the electrode conductor.
You could also try to replace it with a stainless steel plate  for better conservation
against use-up.

Maybe it is also possible to just only use the SnO2 and TiO2
as a plate, as the SnO2 is conductive.
Maybe one can also use an acrylic binder with it and generate
SnO2 -TiO2-Paper as the Minus electrode of this cell.

So first mix SnO2 and TiO2 powder, then heat it ( sinter it)
add berry juice and let it dry in.
Then use acrylic binder to make a paste and smear this onto
wet towel paper and let it dry.

Then use this as the other electrode.
If you put this electrode horizontal into the iodide solution at the top
just only a bit "under water" (under iodide electrolyte)
then the sun can directly go in a better angle to this
SnO2 -TiO2-Paper electrode.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Stefan.

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #100 on: April 22, 2009, 03:04:49 AM »
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Offline hartiberlin

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #101 on: April 22, 2009, 03:52:25 AM »
Here another picture to make it more understandable:

Offline Doug1

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #102 on: April 22, 2009, 12:42:01 PM »
stannous chloride powder
 I was looking this product up to see where it could be obtained from locally but found out what is.
 Thats some pretty nasty stuff.
 from this ref how to http://www.teralab.co.uk/Experiments/Conductive_Glass/Conductive_Glass_Page1.htm

 To this ref http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/chemical/4643 which says "Stannic chloride, anhydrous is a colorless fuming liquid with a pungent odor. It is soluble in cold water and decomposed by hot water to form hydrochloric acid with the evolution of heat. It is corrosive to metals and tissue. "

  So is that not a highly acidic layer bonded to the glass in a thin coat to form the transparent conductor? Much like the water and acid in a car battery is the conductor between electrodes.
  is it that when it is cooked to a high enough temp and turned to vapor it does not mix with water very well after it attaches itself to the glass? I know doing the vapor thing is not desirable but maybe once it is clear how it works a substitute can be found. Im surprised it does not desolve into the iodine or berry juice unless it becomes non soluble through the vapor process.

 This is interesting about soluble in general http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility
  If there is a conductive material that is semi tanslucent non soluble in acidic conditions then it would be reasonable to expect it to not interact with O2 which should prevent oxidation or the galvanic effect between to materials which could be one used for P and the second for the N of a cell. If in contact with a highly photo active layer of substance inbetween the two that can shed off an electron in the presence of light that should the trick. There is a word used for the technical deffinition of a substance which will not mix with water at all it actually repels water I just cant remember what it is.
  It also got me thinking about the cloth used on the earth battery. If there is a way to figure out or locate some info about the cloth used for musket loader rifles way back in the stone age. They may have been adding a substance which repelled water to the cloth to keep the cloth dry even in humid conditions or in the rain. The cloth used in the earth battery may have been some old spools of such a cloth considering the time period and location of the invention wihch would seriously change the function of the cloth insulator on the earth battery coil. So who wants to do some digging on the history of the old ball and cap rifles the Kentucky long rifle and the type of pitch cloth they used for when it was wet or humid.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 02:27:10 PM by Doug1 »

Offline nueview

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #103 on: April 22, 2009, 07:26:56 PM »

this may seem a bit off topic but not meaning to be.
as near as i can make of this the idea is to stack several elements with varing electric potential in such a manner that when a specific wavelenght of light with certain angular restraints strikes the sequence that an electron is moved across a barrier were it then recieves a resistance to return by the same path essentially using the light for the catalyst.
if this is the process then it appears to be much like a fire nitrogen takes on 40 times more heat than oxygen and carbon is the highest heat conductor when properly treated these were the nitrogen is removed or preheated so as to play a small part in the combustion the oxygen will burn or react with the carbon several times in order to satisfy the carbons need for energy intake yeilding a much hotter combustion than an ordinary fire.
the proscess seems to be very similar to peltier junctions with copper and steel wires my thought seems to be that the wave of light will strike the material weither it is transparent or not and would seem to initiate some reaction even as transisters are driven by energy sequence so adjusting the potential across the barrier would seem to be the better solution with posible electretsas base substraits.

just a thought.

Offline ResinRat2

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Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
« Reply #104 on: April 22, 2009, 09:22:45 PM »
Hi Neuview,

Yes, that is what I thought. That is why my cell used aluminum, magnesium, silver, and carbon. It gave increasing ionization potentials of 578, 731, 737, and 1087. I figured electrons would just move across from aluminum to carbon and create an electron flow.

I guess I was wrong.

 

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