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Solar energy => solar systems homemade and commercial => Topic started by: hartiberlin on January 31, 2009, 05:38:38 AM

Title: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on January 31, 2009, 05:38:38 AM
Hi ALL,
I guess this is a real breaktrough in solar energy
as now a selfmade process to produce cheap solar cells has
been posted on Youtube.

Have a look at this:

http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=sro78xUOsXg

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on January 31, 2009, 06:31:49 PM
Okay, I just received the info how to build it from Matt:

He said:


things required
strong thin knife,glass cutter,Titanium dioxide,LCD panel,silver conducting varnish,methylated spirits,
distilled water,plant dye,sealant glue,source of iodide/iodine,candle.

be very wary when disassembling LCD screens-the potential for cuts is always present.
handle with cloth covers when prying open-use eye protection.

disclaimer-dont try this at home if your a fool and likely to hurt yourself.


1.disassemble an LCD panel.
use a stanley knife to remove glue from plate edges.
run cuts across the plastic film coating to allow the introduction of methyted spirits
to breakdown the glue holding the plastic film coating.
remove the plastic film from both sides.
check the egdes have been thouroughly roughed up and any excess epoxy like glue on the edges of the
LCD panel.you can try your luck with some sort of solvent to loosen up the panels,but i just scored the panel right the middle with a glass cutter,both sides,and started to pry the edges open.was going really well until cracked it-luckily the crack followed the glass cut line,and eventually i had the 2 faces of the panel appart although it was broken in a few a places.remove the plastic film from the inside of the panel after washing the liquid crystal goo off trim up the pieces with the glass cutter,so you have to pieces the same size.

2.clean the trimmed pieces with methylated spirits,to remove all traces of adhesive.
paint tracks of conductive silver across the face of the Tin Oxide side of the glass.
take the collective bunch of tracks to one edge of the plate,this is where you will attach you terminals.

3.prepare the Titanium Dioxide with 50/50 distilled water ,and methylated spirits.
stir it up and use the fine stuff of the top after settling to apply to the plates.

4.apply the Tio2 suspension onto the plates.allow to dry heat dry if available-i used a heat gun.
5.prepare the dye by mashing with methylated spirits,and squeeze thru fine cloth onto only one plate.allow it to settle into the Tio2 layer.wash with distilled water.
allow to dry-heat dry if possible.

6.prepare a candle with a long flame.quickly run the plate that has no dye on it over the flame,to deposit carbon onto the plate.wash with distilled water allow to dry-heat dry if possible

7.by this stage you have 2 plates-one with Tio2 and dye-one with Tio2 and carbon.
thouroughly clean the edges to prepare for the sealing glue-i used methylated spirits.
8.run a bead of the egde sealing glue around one plate,leaving a small gap at one corner for the excess electrolyte to run out when.this will help in sealing it without any bubbles inside.
9.i mixed betadine antiseptic solution(which contains povidone iodine 12%) with methylated spirits-80:20
10.pour some electrolyte onto the plate and place the other plate on top,tilting it slightly so that the corner that is the opposite corner to the gap in the sealant.
place the top plate down so that you can pick it up tilt it slightly so the air gap can be squeezed out the top corner.put sealant over the corner gap.

remember to leave a slight overlap and have the terminals at opposite ends.

regards

m3sca1

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on January 31, 2009, 06:39:51 PM
Matt wrote:

Re: Re:solar panel LCD recycle
Datum:   
30.Jan.09
Nachricht:   
this is my first attempt -so i dont know what would happen without the berry juice.
i was just following the description of the TiO2 dye cell to begin with.
and see where it went.
im thinking of trying copper and silver instead of TiO2 and ITO ,and using chlrophyll,but these are down the road-this is just the beginning.
feel free to spread these ideas ,and encourage others to to have a go!

many regards

matt

power to the people!
=]
 

I replied:

Hi Matt,
Well,
you really have to find a semiconductor PN-layer to get this to work.
So there must be the right bandgap for to convert the electronVolts
of the sunlight to push electrons through this diode-bandgap...

So with just 2 metals like silver and copper you mighthave a totally wrong
bandgap and you just only create a galvanic cell, where the metals are used up
with the electrolyte.

In a solar cell the trick is to have the right bandgap PN-layer for the sunlight
and not to use up the electrodes in the process..


Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on January 31, 2009, 07:18:28 PM
Hi Matt,

why did you put TIO2 onto the plate with the graphite from the candle ?

Normally you need only one ITO-TIO2 PN-layer and the other glas
must only have graphite as the other electrode.

The silver is okay to collect the electron current from the graphite,
so you just could use a silver painted glas or plastic plate
where you would have put the graphite onto the silver.

So you could spare one ITO coated glasplate.

The sunlight conversion just only happens between
the ITO-TIO2 surface layer that is exposed to sunlight.
The smaller this layer is, the better the conversion,
so just try to make this very thin, just a few mikrometer.

So it was a good idea to burn the TIO2 into the ITO with
a hot gun.


Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 01, 2009, 03:51:25 PM
Matt still wrote:

m3sca1 has sent you a message:

Re: Re: Re:solar panel LCD recycle
>why did i put the TiO2 on the other side too?

because i made a mistake

thanx for bringing that to my attention.
i didnt notice that when i looked it over.

maybe that will give better results now.


thanx agsain

matt
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on February 04, 2009, 11:48:06 PM
test
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 05, 2009, 02:07:12 AM
Here are 2 very bight researchers, who have got also very good results
with their own build Graetzel cells and their own modified cells:

http://www.jufo-mbs.de/pageID_4302252.html

Also check their other pages and their youtube videos:

http://www.jufo-mbs.de/pageID_4244942.html
They also have developed a new lacto bacteria based fuel
cell without Platinum !

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gLuDPKSBoGY
http://youtube.com/profile?user=1Romolus&view=videos

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 24, 2009, 05:44:46 AM
Forgive me for butting in here but I built a nice little panel this Sunday with some small cells 16+ volts output...

But I have been following this thread a little and I have most of the goods to manufacture homemade.

I do unfortunately have a snag or two...

Do you think arctic silver thermal compound will work for the "Silver Varnish" as he calls it? Arctic silver 5 is like 95% silver if my memory serves me correctly.

Finally for dye is there anything other then squeezing dye out of fruits and leaves that I can do to get my reddish dye needed is there say a dye that is artificial or a particular fruit juice I can use like welches grape or something?

The other thing that has me going is will adding a layer of piezoelectric material such as rochell salt be helpful I have always wondered how piezoelectric materials may be able to add gains to solar you would thing from the heat differences that the cells may flex from time to time thus giving off electricity in minute amounts....

Any thoughts or takers?

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bulbz on February 24, 2009, 05:55:18 AM
That looks like a good hack  8)

Does the substrate have to be LCD screen, or can you use ordinary plate glass ?.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 24, 2009, 06:03:26 AM
You know I'm not 100% sure to tell the truth I would imagine you could use nearly anything that light can pass through but I could be wrong I am no chemist but I'm curious if lexan would work as well...  I will likely do some testing I have 2 15" LCD monitors but I am aiming to make a cell with the full size of the screen. Beyond that its all testing but the stuff is pretty available to make this ...

Ti02 is on its way along with the arctic silver...

By the way denatured alcohol is what you need in the US not methylated spirits ...

Anyhow very interesting project.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 24, 2009, 11:20:58 PM
Hrmmm...

Either I'm a bad thread edition or ... There is a huge lack of interest in solar...

I thought someone might have tested the effects of piezoelectric in the sun to see if there were small gains it really has me wondering if I couldn't make a cell out of melted rochell salt... well obviously you will need dye and such to catch the light but it may be doable either as the substrate in place of silicone or as an additive.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bulbz on February 25, 2009, 12:38:56 AM
Either I'm a bad thread edition or ... There is a huge lack of interest in solar...

There must be a lack of interest from day one. How can it be, that we get as far as we have with technology, and most scientists an especially the world leaders, have completely ignored that big ball of energy all these years ?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bulbz on February 25, 2009, 12:41:53 AM
They have also ignored something else too. That big ball of rock that we call the moon. Surely the effects of that thing circling our planet could be harnessed somehow !
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on February 25, 2009, 12:34:32 PM
NREL data base notes and pubs.http://www.nrel.gov/pv/thin_film/pn_techbased_cadmium_telluride.html
 Just making a info book mark or link. Might be of some help to someone at some point in time.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 26, 2009, 03:39:54 AM
Doug thank you much for jumping in and contributing something to the thread.

Bulbz always a pleasure man I look forward to your posts they are always positively charged ;)

I will have to do some digging and testing I wanna buy a heat gun and such. I have about 6 soldering irons and such for other projects I need a good heat gun or hot air station for SMT would even be better but either way there is a lot untested and simply not tried in life ...

And the efficiency could definitely be better on conversion ... We all know it can be improved.

Finally we all know that we can make these cells for pennies on the dollar somehow if we all worked to this in a group imagine what could come out of it... Home solar panels capable of professional production results...

Very possible but I feel people are scared and it does not take much at all scrap stuff and a little common chemicals...

Why do we not look at this I know the pie in the sky is fun to chase but really why don't we use known methods to produce results we all look for ? Near free energy...

Where is everyone on this all the experts of energy ... The admin took his time out to create this great post and share this great knowledge with us and we simply choose to ignore it because it doesn't have a coil or a magnet and we all already know it works...

Well I say hook your coils and magnets up to the sun ... Do all the testing you need with free power already available...

Anyhow enough ranting.

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Hugo Chavez on February 26, 2009, 05:26:13 AM
I have a question on the dyes being used.  I'm pretty sure these dyes have very poor lightfastness.  They fade fast in light, especially uv exposure.  So are these cells going to have as short of a lifespan as the dye used?


Here's a pdf with good description and instructions.
http://www.camse.org/scienceonthemove/documents/DSSC_manual.pdf
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jadaro2600 on February 26, 2009, 06:53:14 AM
There must be a lack of interest from day one. How can it be, that we get as far as we have with technology, and most scientists an especially the world leaders, have completely ignored that big ball of energy all these years ?

People tend to ignore that which is right in front of them - it's hypnotic desensitization and it's hard as hell to snap out of it if not impossible.  Sometimes I think people are just afraid to think - I fear even I may be victim of such a fear sometimes.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: capthook on February 26, 2009, 10:03:23 AM
The problem with any home-made solar cells is efficiency.

Most of the ideas floating around the internet would require an array larger than a football field.

Example 1: 1 cell: .2V @ 1mA = 0.0002 watts (500,0000 cells to get 100 watts)
Example 2: 1 cell: .4V @ 4mA = 0.0016 watts (62,500 cells to get 100 watts)

Even the 'new fangled printed' cells from companies like NanoSolar exhibit much lower efficiencies than the traditional silicion cells (~5% vs. ~16%).  But at least the dramatically lower cost of fabrication ends up making them more cost effective, even though it requires an installed area more than 3x larger.

To make homemade cells that exhibit say 5% efficiency would be worthwhile.
But to make 500,000 cells to get a tiny 100 watts is not practical.

Anyone know how to make a homemade cell of 5% efficiency?  :-\

I built a nice little panel this Sunday with some small cells 16+ volts output...

Looks like 36 cells @ 16 V = 0.44 V per cell.......
What is the full output?  How much current, how many watts?
Thanks for the pic and nice job!
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on February 26, 2009, 11:53:33 AM
 If you people put half as much work into the home made cells as you do into the nutter projects you could have ended up with a big JT run off the sun and a modest amount of storage batteries. Something tangible that could be cutting down on personal electric bills or supplying extra heat. Almost certainly enough energy to operate a 1/8 th hp pump to move water through a geothermal heat pump system given some of the motor concepts that use so little power with the BEMF methods.
  Granted not everyone has the same needs but forward movement which has tangible benefits will become contagious and the momentum toward usable experimental designs or thoughts will drag the other ideas along the same path. To produce usable tangible improvements. Don't get me wrong I come here every day and it is almost always entertaining.It is surely helping to stretch my imagination,but at some point this is either purely entertainment or of some type of use that can improve the human condition.
   The dyes for a printed cell from fruits is not UV stable but there are additives that can change that. More important is "what is it about the dyes that makes them work" and what ells will work that is better then dyes and already stable and readily available? Can all these materials be printed onto a T shirt transfer and then ironed onto a piece of carbon copy paper or sheet of plastic? If a person could produce usable power with a pay back in under two yrs more people would be willing to give it a try on a working scale rather then a bench top toy.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on February 26, 2009, 12:46:43 PM
 This statement is from the file DSSC manual pdf. The cells of this construct are more worthy of experimentation then the crystaline cells for this reason alone.

"Dye-sensitized solar cells are innovative solar cells that scientists are developing. These
cells have a lot of potential because they can be made with low-cost materials and manufactured
at a low cost. Dye-sensitized cells can work effectively in low light, such as cloudy skies, where
traditional cells lose some of their energy. Also, traditional models lose energy to heat. Dyesensitized
solar cells are less susceptible to losing energy to heat."

  Now if you go look up all the classic definitions and uses of the materials you can even stroke your need for the nutter butter science since there are dia-magnetic properties in some of the oxides. Doubt you'll bend time or space or get a visit from Elvis but it seems to lend itself to polarization through some discrete method. Who knows maybe it will even spark a connection in some function of material properties that will warrant a visit from the King.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 27, 2009, 03:39:14 AM
Approx 10watts of output capthook 12 max...

As for dyes that fade well why not get together and work to find some way to prevent this?
I've seen it done before on projects that were way far fetched...

We know this technology works really why not work together to make something come of it not for the money or fame or whatever but for energy freedom for all of us...

I just received my Ti02 and arctic silver compound in the mail...
Now I will need to purchase a nice heat gun anyone know of a good heat gun for cheap?

I will be doing some testing rather soon though...

But I also ordered some more cells for production of energy.

I have been making simple steps for the past couple years on going greener:

- All light bulbs that I use are now CFL bulbs one of the easiest things to do.

- All Television and monitors in the home are now LCD

- I just received a digital programmable thermostat in the mail soon that will be installed it has 4 times a day settings for every day of the week... So I will set it to say 70F when home and awake 62F when gone and 65F during sleeping hours...

-Now one of my next big things and maybe someone can lead me on this is I want my LCD's and other electronics that dont need to run to be completely off now power leakage in standby aside from select items like cordless phones and the cable box. RF remote controlled way of doing so would be nice one button to completely cut all power from the selected devices.

- My computers I am looking into complete standby at certain times and to resume at other times of the day.

- Ordered more solar cells to build another panel or 3 ;)


I do wonder if anyone is familiar with micro grid tie units...

THIS ONE:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Micro-Grid-Tie-Inverter-Solar-cell-Panel-Wind-generator_W0QQitemZ270348270391QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item270348270391&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1308|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Claims to hook up the output energy from the panel to the grid tie and run a power cord out from the unit which will in turn supply energy somehow or another. Anyone have a personal expirence
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Hugo Chavez on February 27, 2009, 03:50:05 AM
As for dyes that fade well why not get together and work to find some way to prevent this?
I've seen it done before on projects that were way far fetched...


I'm just starting to learn about this.  Maybe they've already done that?  The only thing I can think of is to block the UV and that won't work for the cell.  This part interests me so if anyone has anything they've ran across on the lightfast angle of the dyes please post it.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Curly on February 27, 2009, 04:16:43 AM
This is an interesting site from the CSIRO {Australia} about printable solar cells

http://www.csiro.au/multimedia/printable-solar-cells.html
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: nueview on February 27, 2009, 09:03:15 AM

i seem to remember a demonstration by a fellow that he used a sheat of aluminum foil and two solutions of silica gel or water glass mixed with something can't remember if it was antimony for one and can't remember the other one but after the coat of one on the aluminum foil he coated it again with the other and put copper screen on top as it was drying he said that they were made easily and there output was fair seems like 6% wish i could recall the other chemical one made the p layer the other the negative the aluminum oxide of the foil makes a diode action as well sorry this is all i can remember about this.

nueview
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Mark69 on February 27, 2009, 04:38:00 PM
@infringer

You can get a decent heatgun from HarborFreight.  I have used their heat guns many times stripping old paint.  They are $10-$15 and if you burn one out, you can return it for another (if burned out within a certian period of time, I have burned a few out). 

Also concerning dyes, I had an idea though it might not sound all that well, but what about using blood?  LOL Ok I am not a vampire, but heck you can use your own or get some from meat or whatever.  I dont think blood fades away all the easily?

Mark
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on February 27, 2009, 06:52:38 PM
I do believe that there are stable inorganic dyes (instead of unstable organic dyes).I already know how to make copper oxide cells(but they deliver less than 1%).Maybe more effective to use solar heat to drive a steam driven generator?Triffid
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on February 27, 2009, 07:05:38 PM
Check out Steven Harris's book"Sunshine to Dollars".He tells how to make all types of solar projects using low cost materials often free if you will ask for them and go pick them up.I found my copy on e-bay about 4 years ago.He tells how to get free solar panels.He also says making electricity with silicon is not the best way for solar power to go.I think we as a nation should be hellbent on going solar.Harris says making solar hot air collectors for a few dollars(or often just tens of dollars ) is the best use for solar(I do like making electricity myself).Then he says hot water solar collectors are a third as efficient.With silicon for electricity being the worse way to go.He says you can hook up solar hot air collectors to your home and realize instant gas heat savings for the next 2-50 years(depending on how well you build them).Triffid
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on February 27, 2009, 07:10:16 PM
Every time I have watched a movie about time travel I have seen the sun shining in those movies.So I agree why ignore the big ball in the sky and the moon at night?We can use nuclear energy for the really dark regions of space.Triffid
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Hugo Chavez on February 27, 2009, 07:22:33 PM
I do believe that there are stable inorganic dyes (instead of unstable organic dyes).I already know how to make copper oxide cells(but they deliver less than 1%).Maybe more effective to use solar heat to drive a steam driven generator?Triffid
That's what I was wondering.  I got the initial impression that these needed to be organic?  If it's solely about catching a portion of the light spectrum then I think inorganic dyes would work.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 28, 2009, 03:15:34 PM
i seem to remember a demonstration by a fellow that he used a sheat of aluminum foil and two solutions of silica gel or water glass mixed with something can't remember if it was antimony for one and can't remember the other one but after the coat of one on the aluminum foil he coated it again with the other and put copper screen on top as it was drying he said that they were made easily and there output was fair seems like 6% wish i could recall the other chemical one made the p layer the other the negative the aluminum oxide of the foil makes a diode action as well sorry this is all i can remember about this.

nueview

Wow,
that is very interesting.
Can you still try to look this up and post please more details ?
Did you see it yourself or wasit just a Webpage ?
6 % efficiency would be really nice for a selfbuild cell.

If it is a very cheap process anybody can build with cheap materials and chemicals
this would be the way to go.

Please try to locate the infos and post it here.

Many thanks in advance.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 28, 2009, 03:26:18 PM
Hi All,
I am currently experimenting with my graphite paper and
trying to get Silicon ( Si) onto it as a thin layer...
I have used my colloidal silver generator, which is just a
pulser, that pulses about 30 Volts DC onto 2 electrodes.

I have tried to use the graphite paper as one electrode
and a piece of conductable silicon I bought from ebay here:

http://i15.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/33/29/cb15_1.JPG

as the other electrode...

But it seems the silicon is not so soluable as silver...

There is also a small yellowish color in the destilled
water after a few hours, but the colloidal silicon
will not build a layer onto the graphite paper...
I tried both polarities, cause I am not sure,
which polarity I should choose for
the silicon and which for the graphite paper,
but I guess to "electroplate" silicon onto the
graphite paper it needs a better method..
so I should probably better to use
a real silicon salt and then use electroplating to
convert the silicon ions to a real thin siliconlayer
onto the conducting graphite paper electrode...

So what silicon salt should I choose the best and
what should be the other electrode for it in such an electroplating
electrolysis ?

P.S. I also bought 2 real nonconductive silicon plates from
a semicoductor plant:

http://i9.ebayimg.com/08/i/000/d6/d0/1249_1.JPG

but these are electrically nonconductive and so they are bad as an electrode...

The other silicon piece above is electrically conductive, so it probably is
not a pure silicon semiconductor crystal...

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 28, 2009, 06:40:23 PM
Great deal now we have the attention of some folks hopefully most every one joins in for this achievable goal!

Get in get your hands dirty!

We need some electronics experts to create a grid tie inverter like the SWEA that I posted a link to in the earlier thread this should be a great way to put power back into the grid who cares about UL approval if it works it works...

But if we reverse engineer this type of grid tie we can grid tie and save expensive costs on batteries.

So an outline of this project for us should be:

1-Tell everyone you know who is not too scared to do hands on testing to join in.
2-Get a basic ground cell to test from (This has been done)
3-Start testing and posting results
4-Get some electronics experts to reverse engineer the SWEA grid tie units so we can make them cheaply.
5-Set an efficiency goal to reach something to be reached within short term.
6-Incrementally improve on this percentage
7-Work on durability of the design.

Please do not look the other way I urge you we have something here that we know that works ! Tested and proven!
We only need to improve on the design and the more testing the better off we all will be!

This is possible all we need is the support of a nice group of people dedicated to the same thing.
With strength in numbers the odds will be in our favor!

Then it will be advantage people!
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 28, 2009, 06:47:31 PM
Heartiberlin,

Try rochell salt please call it a hunch but I am very curious....
Maybe just making a mixture of graphite and rochell salt will work with the dye on top and the graphite from say pencil led crushed on the bottom mixed with epoxy and epoxy tabs to the bottom and tabs on the top simple clear epoxy...

Not sure really might be a decent idea may not but only tests will tell I keep firm that rochell salt may not be a bad growing material...

It is piezoelectric yes but heat causes expansion and contraction for one but just running off of mental notes from lots of reading here and it just keeps comming to mind it may be very possible to make something here. I will continue to work myself and your contribution is very important here as an administrator. Thank you a lot Stephan I believe all we need now is step one to put a little more light on this subject pardon the pun.

Thanks
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 28, 2009, 06:57:05 PM
Heartiberlin,

Try rochell salt please call it a hunch but I am very curious....

Thanks

How ?
What should I do with it ?
What is the chemical formular for it ?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on February 28, 2009, 06:58:36 PM
Here is a very nice description with Quicktime movies
how to build a Graetzel cell:


http://mrsec.wisc.edu/Edetc/nanolab/TiO2/index.html


Well, if we now will find out how to do our own ITO or Tindioxid coated glas
and just use the Betadine solution then this will be a cheap process to make
our own cells...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 28, 2009, 07:00:13 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:K-Na-L-(%2B)-tartrate.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochelle_salt
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on February 28, 2009, 07:21:18 PM
I am currently experimenting with my graphite paper and
trying to get Silicon ( Si) onto it as a thin layer...

I wonder if an all colloidal-mineral type of solar cell could be designed by using the available array of easily purchased colloidal minerals and simply mixing two to simulate doping. Say by mixing colloidal platinum and colloidal silver you would get the P-layer, and by mixing silver and zinc colloids you would get the N-layer. I am not sure how to join them, but maybe similar to the LCD screens with conductive paint or copper wires. I am not quite sure how it would go together, but the idea of an all-colloidal solar cell really sounds interesting to me. Transparency is no problem.

I need to think about it for a bit.

The available colloidal minerals that are easily purchased comprise Boron, Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Germanium, Gold, Indium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Platinum, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Sulfur, Tin, Vanadium, and Zinc.

I am just not really sure if mixing two colloids would simulate doping; but it does sound interesting.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 28, 2009, 07:40:46 PM
 ;D Welcome aboard resinrat we could sure use a expert in chemistry as well!

Thank You for joining in!

EDIT: Check out this article you may be on to something indeed...

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6THY-4RSJDN2-4&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7dae78f3c0d38f92786d1036c94f5f1e

This one as well:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja048427j

Slightly indirectly related to what I believe you may be talking of I am no expert in any field just an apprentice here and look forward to the help of excellence to excel we shall need excellence and I don't know what else to say other then thank you for taking your free time and joining in.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 28, 2009, 08:17:44 PM
For the electronic people out there here is another grid tie unit... To reverse if need be...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ENVIROTECHS-GRID-TIE-INVERTER-FOR-SOLAR-WIND-MAX-250W_W0QQitemZ200313737813

We could make this unit better by hooking it up on a timer so we don't waste power at night in standby or maybe even disable it with a photocell once there is very limited lighting have it shut down with a photocell.

It would be the most excellent solution for the average Joe.

Anyhow this thread is on fire with lots of great info and views don't be scared join in please I promise there is no disappointments at the end of this road just remaining journey...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on March 01, 2009, 01:16:26 AM
Hi all,
here are 2 pics from my trial to get the silicon and silver colloidal
into the graphite paper...

But it did not work yet.
It seems just using the graphite paper within the cell
as the second electrode does not work here....

It seems I need first to use 2 x silver or
2 x silicon rods to fill the distilled water with huge amounts
of colloidal metal and then just insert the graphite paper
into this water to get the colloidal particles sucked up by the graphite.
Probably the concentration is still too low after 10 hours of letting it
run on the pulser...

You can still see, that the water is already yellow from the colloidal silver,
but it seems it is not enough to get the silver fallen out and plate the graphite well...

So next time I will try with ionic solutions and try to do a real electroplating
electrolysis to get the silicon or silver onto the graphite paper.

Maybe I can get the colloidal silver fallen out into the
graphite, when I use some oil into the water ?

Last time, when I got the silver fallen out and coated the glas container,
I tried to build a skin creme and I put into the colloidal water some
vaseline creme and then I had all the silver fallen out and coated the glas walls..

Hmm...
maybe someone can tell me, which silicon salts I can use to get
silicon plated onto the graphite paper electrodes, when I am using an electrolyis
with a silicon salt ?

Maybe something like Siliconchlorid or Siliconcarbonat ?

Many thanks.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: yaz on March 01, 2009, 01:58:08 AM
Stumbled upon this homemade solar cell how-to booklet. Some good ideas in there.

http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/JF/JF_OTHER/SMALL/solarcell.pdf
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on March 01, 2009, 10:37:38 AM
Stumbled upon this homemade solar cell how-to booklet. Some good ideas in there.

http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/JF/JF_OTHER/SMALL/solarcell.pdf


Copper-Oxid cells are just too inefficient and also use too much
energy ( Heat for the Oxid layer to form).

Also the other Cadmium-combination solarcells are only quoted by their
patents and it is not shown,how this really could be done at home.
Also these chemicals are hard to get and are pretty toxic too.

Maybe someone can try out these Cadmium cells and can post a real
how to do it yourself explanation?

But I guess the Graetzel cells are easier to do at home,
if you have ITO coated glas.

Many thanks.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on March 01, 2009, 10:39:56 AM
I wonder if an all colloidal-mineral type of solar cell could be designed by using the available array of easily purchased colloidal minerals and simply mixing two to simulate doping. Say by mixing colloidal platinum and colloidal silver you would get the P-layer, and by mixing silver and zinc colloids you would get the N-layer. I am not sure how to join them, but maybe similar to the LCD screens with conductive paint or copper wires. I am not quite sure how it would go together, but the idea of an all-colloidal solar cell really sounds interesting to me. Transparency is no problem.

I need to think about it for a bit.

The available colloidal minerals that are easily purchased comprise Boron, Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Germanium, Gold, Indium, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Platinum, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Sulfur, Tin, Vanadium, and Zinc.

I am just not really sure if mixing two colloids would simulate doping; but it does sound interesting.


Hi RR,
yes,I think this is a good possibility.

Also electroplating could work.
I just need a good silicon salt, that is soluable in water and that will
coat my graphite paper when I do an electrolysis.

Any idea what cheap silicon salt to use ?

Many thanks.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: turbo on March 01, 2009, 12:42:10 PM
A Reminder:
Silicon is toxic and can cause permanent lung damage.

M.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on March 01, 2009, 03:10:45 PM
Marco,
So are them cigarettes that you smoke or that cardboard that you touch and the plastic you cook with ...
But here is an interesting article to lend credibility to what you talk of.
http://food.oregonstate.edu/glossary/c/colloidalsilicondioxide.html it would appear to me that this is best handled in damp conditions where there will be little dust... For the most part though silicon seems to be safe its everywhere... Personally I believe it is less harmful then forms of insulation and fiberglass... It would be more of an equal to plastic but plastic may even have more negatives.

We are survivors its amazing how much the human body can tolerate.

Stephan,
water-soluble material, sodium methyl siliconate, which is applied as a very dilute water solution; with exposure to the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere it is converted to a water-insoluble resin.

All,
Maybe someone here can lend Stephan a better hand here to get him what he is looking for.

Thanks again guys for participating.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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
 
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: capthook 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer 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!

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller 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


Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller 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)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid 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
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on March 03, 2009, 09:56:40 PM
zinc oxide is conductive just like tin oxide.Triffid
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on March 05, 2009, 08:03:05 PM
Alumina Hydrate
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid 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
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jeanna 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
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on March 07, 2009, 11:34:19 AM
jeanna
  What is madder and weld?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jeanna on March 07, 2009, 07:33:51 PM
Hi Doug,
Madder is Rubia tinctoria. It is in the gallium family (or something). It looks a little like woodruff which is also in the same taxonomic group, but madder has way more color property than the rest. You use the root of plants that are 4 years old.

Weld is Reseda luteola. It grows like a weed and you use any part of the top of the plant. The green leaves turn wool bright yellow. Gorse, goldenrod, broom, and turmeric are also good sources for luteolin. (Again, weld has the most.)

Did the guy that made that youtube video ever explain his reason for the dye? And, is there a color preference?

I hope this helps.

jeanna
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on March 14, 2009, 12:31:24 PM
jeana
 No he never explained the color relationship. I would guess it is to block out certain wave lengths of light.
  Get a load of this. Yesterday after two delays of the delivery my printer shows up. I have to go meet the tractor trailer because it is two big to fit here. We transfer the printer into my truck and i get it home and start to unpack it. It turns out that they sent me the wrong thing. It's the biggest freaken TV I have ever seen. So monday they are going to pick it up or set up a pick up at least and inform the guy who's gonna get the surprise of his life when he figures out he cant watch his favorite programs on a HP wide format printer. I cant figure out why anyone would want such a large TV. There is nothing on TV worth watching to begin with how does super sizing nothing make it better. There is always an event attached to every attempt which makes me question if it is worth even trying.
  Is'nt this TV an example of modern life and it's excesses? I look forward to the day I can move away from here and the people around me.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on March 22, 2009, 01:30:17 AM
Jenna,

Great info actually I enjoy the contribution....

Anyone else making any progress I am currently trying to devise a way to turn a garden style 8ft wind turbine into a generator with the proper mods it should be possible but planning is an important step to the puzzel.

By the way the panel I have that I made has been charging a car battery which is charged every day and used every day the things I use are lower power devices using a 12v 15 amp inverter with fuse inline I LOVE IT!:

Energizer 15min charger
2 MP3 Players a creative zen 20gb and a touch screen model
1 cell phone
and occasional I hook up the 13 watt cfl which is as bright as the typical 60 watt.

Solar is a real thing as well is wind great projects man with solid proof why don't we work to make these things more viable for people to own I have used magnifying glasses and the results were interesting to say the least under an ordinary cfl light it put out 1.92v and a fresnal lense or magnifying sheet friggin put the power to 3.12v...

Maybe a combination of magnification and home made may make homemade a viable solution dunno just a bright idea hanging in the wind :P
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 09, 2009, 05:30:11 AM
Where I work the paint chemists have super-conducting carbon black pigment that has been mixed with solvent and a simple binder to allow it to be drawn down on panels and baked. I am thinking of testing some of this out by hand-painting a very thin layer on an aluminum sheet, then using an LCD screen painted with the silver conducting paint to place atop this. I actually have a couple of small vials of these pigments I sampled.

I just need to purchase or obtain an LCD screen. Does anyone know where an LCD screen can be purchased?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: exxcomm0n on April 09, 2009, 06:53:52 AM
<snip>
I just need to purchase or obtain an LCD screen. Does anyone know where an LCD screen can be purchased?

@ Resin

You might want to browse eBay for non-working TV/monitor/laptop "for parts" sales.
No need to pay for a working device and dismantle it for parts when you can pick up something on the cheap and save another landfill deposit (speaking of which, keep a wary eye on trash day for the odd dead LCD device that might show up out next to the curb. It's not supposed to be disposed of that way, but it happens quite often and is picked up  by the garbage truck without complaint).

Also, should the efficiency be enough to warrant it and you would want to build more, You could take out an ad in your local paper offering to buy dead LCD devices. How much someone wants to sell you trash is a lot less than what they want to sell you a TV, and there is no shipping.
 ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller on April 09, 2009, 04:01:02 PM
I've been spending a lot of time researching methods to do this, I have the following link that might be of some help to you.  Here is a page on how to make your own transparent conductive glass:

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

it doesn't look too complicated.  I'm interested in hearing if anyone has done this.

thanks-Duane

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 11, 2009, 12:26:30 PM
mdmiller
  That does look easy enough and it even comes out looking like those oakley sun glasses that are coated with that rainbow colored stuff. if i were to take a leap forward in thought. The hot gas/smoke may be all that is needed when trying to stick the material to poly type sheeting like a plastic fresnel lens. The groves in the lens should provide more surface area. The method may work for a number of metals with low melt temperatures.Good find. I always wondered how they do that.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Paul-R on April 11, 2009, 01:57:31 PM
I just need to purchase or obtain an LCD screen. Does anyone know where an LCD screen can be purchased?
If you check the IT departments of your local large multi-national type corporartions, you may be offered more than you can carry away.
Also, your local recyling depot may have started to get them in.
Paul.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: PaulLowrance on April 11, 2009, 05:49:46 PM
This is a great thread, and very tempting to make these cells!  There's a wealth of info about Graetzel cells at wikipedia -->

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graetzel_cells

They go over the efficiencies of DSSc's, which are comparable to traditional silicon-based solar cells. DSSc's can typically be 11% efficient and traditional Si about %12 to %15 typically. DSSc's produce more voltage, ~ 0.7V, than traditional Si, ~0.6V, but DSSc's produce less current, 20 mA/cm², as compared to traditional Si, 35 mA/cm². BTW, those figures are not the power figures combined, but are simply the open-circuit voltage and closed circuit (shorted) current. DSSc's produce just about as much overall power as traditional Si.

DSSc's degrades from UV light, but that's not a big problem because they simply place a thin UV absorbing coating.

According to wikipedia, DSSc's are currently the most efficient third-generation solar technology available.

Development:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graetzel_cells#Development


It would help to have an inexpensive method of making the glass coated transparent conductive plates. One method is to place an metal on a ceramic plate just under a piece of glass inside a vacuum, and heat the metal. In this case, the vacuum does not have to be a high vacuum, although a high vacuum would help. A cheap $60 rotary vane pump from Harbor Freight should be sufficient -->

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=98074

This method is called deposition. There are a lot of methods of coating conductive layers on glass. Some better than others. It can be difficult to apply a pure metal coating, rather than an oxide coating. Metal oxides are very poor electrical conductors. The presence of air, which contains oxygen, will easily oxidize the heated metal, hence the vacuum pump. The vacuum method is one of the best, but there's probably a lot easier methods that work good enough.


Solar combined with wind turbines seems like a good complete package. They say that when the wind dies out the Sun usually comes out, and vice versa so one of them is often producing power.


PL
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller on April 11, 2009, 06:23:14 PM
hey I just had a thought... would the metalized window tint film work in lieu of ITO coated glass ??  the kind you can put on your car or home windows.  It comes in various transparencies and different types of metallic coatings (or different colors anyway)

I don't have any but wonder if someone might have some and could see what the conductive or resistance values are.  I do know that the metalized mylar like they make balloons out of makes a great conductor

- thanks - Duane.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 12, 2009, 01:11:34 PM
You will need to consider the metalized plastics may also have a protective coating to prevent the coating from being easily scratched off or oxidized while in storage before use. printed materials like most balloons will will have a protective coating to protect the printing or image. Maybe a bit of sand paper to expose the metal layer before checking it.
   Those balloons seam to last for years stuck in trees so they weather well enough. Companies that manufacture the plastic may provide the answer with little more then a phone call. Clear mylar will begin to yellow and become dull after a few yrs. If you ever run across one of those big projection TV set in a box they have a perfect mirror coated plastic sheet in a frame inside the unit to reflect the image onto the screen from the three projection guns. I really enjoy gutting those big TV's lots of goodies in them.
   When these LCD big screens start to go bad and end up in the trash that will be a fine day. i would not discount the chance to use the conductive coating as a diode if it is possible with some measure of oxidation. Then it can become a redundant diode to protect the cells. 
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 12, 2009, 02:38:54 PM
Interestingly similar
 http://www.fuji-piezo.com/lumi-she.htm

  Can this dilectric trickery be used to control the band with of light absorption through frequency adjustments? There by reducing the level of perfection in the emitting layer of a cell?????
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on April 12, 2009, 05:11:15 PM
Wow now were cooking with crisco here ! Good thinkin fellas just for informational purposes I archived how to tin windows...

But I am all for application of balloon type material ...

Or maybe other things that don't involve a chemistry lab this is great thinking keep tinkering we will find something if we stick to it!

Simple brute force will find an array of things we can do with different payoffs obviously the holy grail is price per watt.
Title: Re: solar cell
Post by: boostone on April 14, 2009, 03:52:24 AM
I have a solar cell which generates 3.7volts [/glow] and I believe it generates 17.6 milliamps. The setting is at 200m on my meter. I need 12volts - 55watts and 4.58amps. How many solar cells do I need in parallel or series?

Thanks again
Title: Re: solar cell
Post by: Steven Dufresne on April 14, 2009, 04:45:57 AM
I have a solar cell which generates 3.7volts [/glow] and I believe it generates 17.6 milliamps. The setting is at 200m on my meter. I need 12volts - 55watts and 4.58amps. How many solar cells do I need in parallel or series?

To increase the voltage, connect in series. In series, the voltages add but the current stays the same.
To increase the current, connect in parallel. In parallel, the currents add but the voltage stays the same.

So for 12 volts, you need 4 in series (12 divided by 3.7 equals 3.24, then round up to 4).
For 4.58 amps, you need 260 in parallel (4.58 divided by 0.0176).
So 4 multiplied by 260 equals 1040 solar cells needed. For the requested voltage you'd connect 4 cells in series but then for the requested current you'd need to make 260 of these series strings and then connect them all in parallel, hence 1040 cell in total.

What exactly are you trying to do?
-Steve
http://rimstar.org   http://wsminfo.org
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 15, 2009, 03:43:09 AM
Well I took the carbon black pigment + dispersing agent + solvent and reduced it down by mixing colloidal magnesium and colloidal silver with it to help dope the coating. This I mixed well and painted a light layer with a fine modelling brush on the shiny side of an aluminum foil sheet. I baked this outside on our Foreman Grill at the maximum heat setting for about 10 minutes and it formed a very nice and thin black film.

On top of this film I brushed another thin layer of superconductive carbon pigment and baked it again. My reasoning was from a modification of the paper that Nanosolar has on its website, "HIGH-PERFORMANCE THIN-FILM PHOTOVOLTAICS USING LOW-COST PROCESS TECHNOLOGY".  I was hoping that I could create a sequence of doping additives that mimicked the CIGS (Cesium, Indium, Gallium, and Selenium) that is discussed in the paper.

I chose Carbon, Magnesium, Silver, and Aluminum as the sequence and Baked the layers in the hope that by shining sunlight on this cell a current would be produced. Unfortunately my camera batteries died and at the moment we cannot find the charger (I hate my house!!). This was to give a sequential order of Ionization energy (eV) from Aluminum as the lowest at 5.9858 eV and Carbon as the highest at 11.2603 eV.

Tommorrow I will cut the cell to size and see if I can get a current going. I really want to develop a cheap cell. This whole business of super-expensive solar cells, and cheap solar cell sold out to the government and the military is driving me crazy.  I will post the pictures as soon as my crazy family can find the charger for the camera.

Thanks for your interest.

RR2
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on April 15, 2009, 05:19:47 AM
Sweet deal resinrat2 ...

I think you have had a couple of interesting and logical projects on your plate between this and the clay pots who knows what your results will provide everyone with all I can say is that we know the technology is legit ...

I have a slight question for you the RR2 and I don't wanna sound like I am beating the dead to death here but would a piezoelectric crystal not provide electricity just from the expansion and contraction of heat from the sunlight I almost wonder if solar cells do not have this property I am sure it would've been mentioned before but it just seems like a logical thing to test...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 15, 2009, 01:51:43 PM
Hi Infringer,

I haven't really looked into piezoelectric crystals so I have no idea. I was just trying to do a modification of the process from the paper on the Nanosolar website. If you happen to see any information where this could be true please post a link. Anything helpful is appreciated.

As far as the solar cooling pots, I am in the process of deciding what Stirling Engine to purchase. I am also waiting for the weather to warm up a bit in my area before I do any outside experiments. Cold, cloudy days have been the norm lately.

RR2
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 15, 2009, 03:57:20 PM
Ratman
   When ya get a moment read through this maybe it will give you some ideas for your concoctions of materials. It's a long read.
  http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20080213467

  Plenty of other patents cited which you can look up. I like the way this is written,it's not completely written in lawer tardedness language. The carbon tax is gonna make the world cry a little bit more. I love watching stupid find friends in high places.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 15, 2009, 05:40:29 PM
  I was hoping that I could create a sequence of doping additives that mimicked the CIGS (Cesium, Indium, Gallium, and Selenium) that is discussed in the paper.
I

Sorry, I meant (Copper (not Cesium) , Indium, Gallium, and Selenium)

My mistake.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 15, 2009, 07:06:40 PM
 expensive stuff
http://ecommerce.indium.com/Paste/C55_1/
 What are you suppose to free base the unused portion?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 15, 2009, 08:07:19 PM
expensive stuff
http://ecommerce.indium.com/Paste/C55_1/
 What are you suppose to free base the unused portion?

That's why I am not using it.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hydrocontrol on April 15, 2009, 08:19:09 PM

As far as the solar cooling pots, I am in the process of deciding what Stirling Engine to purchase. I am also waiting for the weather to warm up a bit in my area before I do any outside experiments. Cold, cloudy days have been the norm lately.

RR2
Sounds like where I am at in Indiana.... LOL... Oh Wait.. You are in Indiana too...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 15, 2009, 08:42:47 PM
Sounds like where I am at in Indiana.... LOL... Oh Wait.. You are in Indiana too...

Hydro...you are a funny Hoosier.

For a good laugh I also purchased that Survival Seed Bank of non-hybrid seeds they are advertising all over the conservative websites. I figure once the food-shortage crisis they predict will come to the US I will be able to feed my family while the starving gangs are roaming the streets. My garden will be perfectly safe because it is behind a flimsy wooden fence. LOL!!! So I am waiting for the weather to warm up so I can transplant my veggies too.  ;D

Some things make no sense; you just have to laugh.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 16, 2009, 12:03:03 AM
Well my first solar cell did not work at all.  :-[ No voltage was seen between the front Aluminum side and the back Carbon side while in the sun. So it is back to trying to understand the mechanism. I am missing something simple. I think I will go back to the basic design that was shown on Youtube with the LED screens , TiO2, and plant dye. If I can build a version of that cell and then modify it one part at a time I could get it to work with the Carbon, Silver, Magnesium, and Aluminum design. Maybe a liquid electrolyte like Iodine was all that I needed; or maybe I needed longer heating times of the various layers to encourage them to meld?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hydrocontrol on April 16, 2009, 05:01:22 PM
Hydro...you are a funny Hoosier.

For a good laugh I also purchased that Survival Seed Bank of non-hybrid seeds they are advertising all over the conservative websites. I figure once the food-shortage crisis they predict will come to the US I will be able to feed my family while the starving gangs are roaming the streets. My garden will be perfectly safe because it is behind a flimsy wooden fence. LOL!!! So I am waiting for the weather to warm up so I can transplant my veggies too.  ;D

Some things make no sense; you just have to laugh.
Getting the Survival Seed Bank of non-hybrid seeds is on my list. Liked your Fuel cell research. Shows great promise. I am working on replication of Thane Heins interesting generator. Been collecting magnets and wire so any available extra $$ is going that way at the moment. I figure food and energy are at the top of the survival list. Got plenty of wind were we live so a wind generator can be used for the energy part when the oil prices go back up this summer. Another month and it should be safe to plant seeds so I am holding off on the seed order. Like you I see the train wreck coming... That light in the tunnel is getting bigger and it is far away from the end of the tunnel so I know it is not the light. ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: PhiScience on April 16, 2009, 06:17:43 PM
Hay fellow Hoosiers,

 Were I work we use a lot of high performance glass called Low-E Glass. This glass has a very thin plating of metal and is very conductive. I have been told by the company that makes the glass Cardinal CG that the metal used to plate the glass is mostly silver.   
http://www.cardinalcorp.com/products_coated_270/270.htm (http://www.cardinalcorp.com/products_coated_270/270.htm)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-emissivity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-emissivity)

Not sure if this glass can be useful in building a PV cell but if you want to try it I can get some over to you.

Wayne   
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 on April 17, 2009, 11:18:14 AM
Res
 what are you using for the transparent electrode?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hydrocontrol on April 17, 2009, 05:04:08 PM
For a good laugh I also purchased that Survival Seed Bank of non-hybrid seeds they are advertising all over the conservative websites. I figure once the food-shortage crisis they predict will come to the US I will be able to feed my family while the starving gangs are roaming the streets. My garden will be perfectly safe because it is behind a flimsy wooden fence. LOL!!! So I am waiting for the weather to warm up so I can transplant my veggies too.  ;D

A little off topic but related to you growing your own food. A grow box project using cheap Christmas LED lights. Looks like something I would do.. ;)

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lights/msg03142147677.html?18

Lots of large pictures so it take awhile to load..
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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



Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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)

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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)


Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on April 22, 2009, 03:52:25 AM
Here another picture to make it more understandable:
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Doug1 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: nueview 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 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.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: nueview on April 22, 2009, 11:35:27 PM

as most elements are dipoles or at least have a dipole moment building your cell on an electret or a capacitive plate insulated from the rest of the cell with a potential exerted so that it influences the junction may yeild better results out of ordinary solar cells since i am not sure about polarity it may be quite interesting to get an answer first and then attempt to build also light passing through a polarizing filter will intensify the radiation patern so i have read but cannot confirm.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on April 24, 2009, 01:14:37 AM
I think the reason my cell did not work is because it does require the electrolyte to transfer the electrons. So I would need the iodine solution.

In the spirit of research I have gone back to Stefan's idea of using the aluminum foil, but I want to incorporate a different electrolyte and also use the colloidal minerals I have available. My previous experiment involved baking silver colloid on aluminum, and this gave a brownish-colored coating on the surface of the metal. Looking at the groupings of the Chemicals on the Periodic Table I show a likely candidate of Chlorine as a substitute for the Iodine. Added to the water as Bleach or Sodium Hypochlorite, it could perform the function as the carrier of the electron to the Carbon paper or Carbon rod. A bit of coloring could be added if the brownish tinge of the silver colloid won't be able to filter the sunlight properly to draw the electron.

These are just a couple of ideas I will begin investigating.

Thanks for your interest.

Dave (RR2)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller on April 24, 2009, 03:57:48 AM
I've been trying to identify a solid electrolyte for use in photovoltaics, and have noted a lot of experimenting with polysaccharides as solid or gel-based photovoltaic electrolytes.  An example material would be starch.  Another that makes sense is methyl cellulose. 

The polysaccharide is salt-doped to provide ion transfer.  Methyl cellulose (MC) is a polysaccharide (commonly known as wall paper paste).  I believe MC can also be used to separate plates in a battery.

An even better one is Carboxy methyl cellulose.  Ah yes, the primary ingredient in KY jelly -- which lends a whole new dimension to a passionate romantic evening.     -Duane
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on May 13, 2009, 06:31:43 AM
Here is a new Youtube channel that shows how to make a
solar cell out of donuts and tea !
No joke ! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/user/caudex43

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on May 25, 2009, 06:02:05 AM
Wow I am amazed I have seen the doughnut thing before but yes a home made cell seems fairly possible to do and the ideas given have been excellent anyone trying please share some photos.

I would like to share a picture with all of you of my latest creation cost was under 300 dollars total and it puts out a beautiful amount of energy! Took several days of soldering and finalization but it is now in service.

Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on May 25, 2009, 02:51:30 PM
Hi Infringer,
I like the way you used an old standard-type of window pane setup.

Thanks very much for the pic and your efforts; keep us updated on the details.

So far I have not had much luck getting my ideas to work at all.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on May 25, 2009, 06:35:09 PM
Yes it was the cheapest possible method I tell you I did use plexi glass for the cover though and weather stripping gasket between the plexi and the wood then around the outsides and the screws I used silicone which I also used to fix the solar cells to the glass on the back side...

I will tell you the cheapest solution is to use old windows from yard sales or other sources you can pick up a crap ton for a very cheap price.

At peak the panel is supposed to put out 126 watts but I say 100 watts is more of a fair estimate but it keeps a 100 peak watt inverter 75 watt going continous during slightly cloudy times ...

I purchased the cells from fred480v the best solar source on ebay imho all are 3x6" cells rated at 1.75watts each and are polycrystaline cells...

I managed to scoop 100 cells for 2 bux per cell which you will need because some will arrive broken and you will break a couple yourself to be expected there is a total of 72 cells in total and I was very pleased with the outcome and how I was able to solder them so tightly ... 1 roll of tabbing and a couple rolls of .022 dia silver bearing solder.

To get the tightest I used cardboard cut it out to the size slightly smaller then the window cutout to leave room for connections of each string. All connections were hot glued to stave off any weathering that may occur and also keep the connections solid.

It is painstaking but the end result is excellent if you take your time to do it right.

There is condensation that builds up during the first week or two of operation but from there it seems it drys up. I am seriously considering scaling up here soon I want a wind turbine as well but I was sidelined on that project due to some things that did just not come through I had to put the wind turbine on the back burner but I have thought of taking the easy route of using a motor as a generator because there is less involved with it then making your own generator while I have nearly all the supplies the supplier of my barrels has not followed up with his promise and currently am considering using an hwat design instead.

Thats all for now gotta run.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: adeternal on June 23, 2009, 08:05:18 PM
Hi all.

I'm new to this forum, (and basically to science) and am excited with what I am reading and the innovation and forward thinking everyone is having.
I'm particularly interested in solutions which are implementable by average Joe or Joanne, for useful purposes and not for profit.
To this end I noticed that TiO2 is one of the main components of WhiteOut or Liquid Paper. Perhaps this can be useful in the application.
Also:  potatoes contain polysaccharide (referred to by Duane on April 24) I'm not sure of any "homebrew" was of extracting them for our uses.

Keep up the fire peoples.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on August 03, 2009, 04:00:01 AM
To save everyone the trouble never use hot glue for your solar panel it will melt and run down the cells this was my first big panel but it still puts out well without issue been going strong for months now been through lots of wind and rain and works like a champ this winter will be a bigger test with the snow and such but...

What ever you do DO NOT USE HOT GLUE FOR SOLAR PANELS ANYWHERE!

use all weather clear silicone for all of your application it will take longer a couple days of dry time and such but it is well worth the wait! And I swear by this stuff cause I have seen it still holding up after many years of weathering in many applications.

One better but a lot harder to use is epoxy!

enjoy

-infringer-
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on August 03, 2009, 04:54:45 AM
Here is my Solar Cell Concept.

Jerry ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: triffid on August 03, 2009, 06:17:48 AM
It would be great if "white out" could be used.I don't know about the potatoes but I remember somewhere in my chemistry training that someone used a blender to chop them up.Triffid
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on August 03, 2009, 09:35:09 PM
I know everyone trying to use the Titanium Oxide White is using it because it is cheap but you will get a hell of a lot more efficiency from Germanium Oxide in fact Germanium is the most efficient at converting solar energy at these current times, it is just expensive in pure form.

also when you make your printed pathways please use masking tape to make professional looking print pathways, it looks so much nicer when the tape is peeled off, leaving a nice sharp print edge and all.

there are better things but they are currently out of reach for the moment.

Jerry ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Leno on August 04, 2009, 05:05:08 AM
Konarka......We're Coming!

www.konarka.com
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on August 04, 2009, 06:56:17 AM
Konarka......We're Coming!

www.konarka.com

Crew?

Jerry ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on August 04, 2009, 08:24:13 AM
Konarka......We're Coming!

www.konarka.com


When exactly ?
When will we be able to buy cheap cells finally ?

I can live with it,
if the cells only work for 2 or 3 years, but they mustbe cheap like
1 Euro for 5 to 10  Watts or simular...
As you cells are only out of plastic and ink
this should be possible very soon...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on August 04, 2009, 08:26:18 AM
Here is my Solar Cell Concept.

Jerry ;)

Hi Jerry,
can you post more?
Did you already build them or is this only an idea ?

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on August 04, 2009, 08:59:53 AM
Hi Jerry,
can you post more?
Did you already build them or is this only an idea ?

Many thanks.

Hi hartiberlin.

there are many things that need to be accomplished first, all I care about right now is that all the polluting power sources are disolved if by chance by replacing old tech with new green tech.

if I get some money I will start doing some very hard research on the future of power harnessing to help the Earth. but I am a poor soul right now.

Jerry :)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on August 27, 2009, 04:12:31 PM
I have begun testing an experimental solar-tube type design that I dreamed up. It consists of a sheet of ordinary writing paper that has been painted on one side with high-conductive carbon pigment dispersed in low-odor mineral spirits. This was allowed to dry and the paper folded into a tube shape with the carbon pigment on the inside. The bottom of the tube was not painted so there was a couple inch gap of non-painted surface.

Inserted through the bottom of the tube is another piece of paper folded into a cone shape and covered on its surface with normal aluminum foil. The idea is that the aluminum and carbon black surfaces do not come in contact with each other so they are electrically isolated.

Sunlight enters the tube at the top, strikes the aluminum cone surface and ejects an electron from the metal surface (ionization energy of aluminum) which is deflected sideways (due to the cone shape) and strikes the carbon black inside surface of the tube.

By using a voltage meter I placed one probe against the inside carbon black surface of the tube and the other probe in contact with the bottom aluminum surface of the cone. The idea is that the ejected electrons would flow the circuit from carbon black back to the aluminum metal.

I am getting erratic readings right now when the tube is pointed toward the overhead fluorescent lights, some as high as 0.6 volts. Who knows, maybe I am just picking up RF.

Today we will have rotten weather with rain and clouds. So I need to do outdoor testing later. Below is a drawing to give a picture of the unit. I think a larger unit might be worth looking at. I am also thinking the tube may need to be vacuum-sealed so there is no interference with the ejected electrons; but this is just a first prototype. When I get home from work this evening I will post some pictures.

I am posting this just for anyone’s interest.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on August 27, 2009, 06:41:18 PM
Hi ResinRat2,
what is the ionisation energy level for Aluminium ?
I guess the sun will just reflect from the aluminium and
not pop some electrons out of the foil.

ALso if you have a bit moisture inside your air
a high ohmic digital multimeter will just measure
0.6 Volts between the graphite and the alufoil.
Just wet fingertouches are enough between your
"nonconductive" paper to cause this.

If you try it with a lower impedance analog meter you
will probably measure no voltage...or much less.

Also the electrons will not just fly through the air a few inches to
go to the graphite paper..
When you would need vaccuum it will get again too expensive..

I guess the best way would be to find cheap materials that have the
right ionisation energy level to sunlight and have them sprayed or
painted onto graphite paper and then use a transparent conductive electrode
layer to paint over it.
The question is
what is the best and cheapest transparent conductive electrode layer that can
be easily selfmade.


Have a look at these 2 artificial Leaf videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ6XqEsutcM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l6-N0ba7jg
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on August 27, 2009, 06:46:46 PM
Hi ResinRat2.

Nice idea about the design, it reminds me of the Rods and Cones in the eye somewhat.

If you really wanted to play around with flexible solar cells you can use transparent contact paper as a work bench for your conductors and dried photoreactive chemicals, when completed you would have a somewhat transparent flexible solar cell, to get some ideas on developing flex type there are some videos on youtube that show how some are made with a machine.

I think clear Contact paper will make a good work bench for home solar tech and one side is very very sticky and it is dirt cheap.

if I had some old printer cartridges laying around I might see about using some conductive inks for conductive pathways that way I could just print my pathways with a computer printer onto the surface. just an idea.

Jerry ;)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on August 27, 2009, 07:28:56 PM
Hi ResinRat2,
what is the ionisation energy level for Aluminium ?

listed here: http://www.lenntech.com/Periodic-chart-elements/Al-en.htm

The value is given as: 577.4 kJ.mol -1


I guess the sun will just reflect from the aluminium and
not pop some electrons out of the foil.

ALso if you have a bit moisture inside your air
a high ohmic digital multimeter will just measure
0.6 Volts between the graphite and the alufoil.
Just wet fingertouches are enough between your
"nonconductive" paper to cause this.

If you try it with a lower impedance analog meter you
will probably measure no voltage...or much less.

It does seem strange that my reading is 0.6 V as you say. Perhaps it is moisture.

Also the electrons will not just fly through the air a few inches to
go to the graphite paper..
When you would need vaccuum it will get again too expensive..

Actually, I got the idea from a Physical Chemistry Answer manual that showed a drawing of a device used to measure ionization energy of a metal that was a cylinder with the metal at the bottom that reflected a laser beam into the cylinder walls. The metal was not cone shaped but the cylinder was in a vacuum. So I think the electrons may fly a short distance. I have no idea how far. Maybe it would be better to have this filled with a liquid medium to transport the electrons like the Gratzyl cell. Maybe iodine or chlorine bleach. I need to think about this.


I guess the best way would be to find cheap materials that have the
right ionisation energy level to sunlight and have them sprayed or
painted onto graphite paper and then use a transparent conductive electrode
layer to paint over it.
The question is
what is the best and cheapest transparent conductive electrode layer that can
be easily selfmade.


Have a look at these 2 artificial Leaf videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ6XqEsutcM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l6-N0ba7jg

Thanks for the input Stefan. I need to consider this a bit and do a few more experiments.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on August 27, 2009, 07:51:48 PM
listed here: http://www.lenntech.com/Periodic-chart-elements/Al-en.htm

The value is given as: 577.4 kJ.mol -1

How many electronVolts are this ?
Does sunlight have enough energy to ionize some outer shell electrons
from the Aluminium foil ?

Quote

It does seem strange that my reading is 0.6 V as you say. Perhaps it is moisture.

I once had a graphite cylinder in a plastic 1 cm isolated to a metal
rod with no water in there and the moisture from the air on the plastic
already was enough to have a galvanic action from this "electrolyte moisture" and display around 0.6 Volts
on my digital voltmeter...so it was just a basic galvanical cell.

In solar cell research you have to see, if it is all not just galvanical actions
which consumes electrodes... sometimes these effects also mix,
so some effect is solar conversion and some is galvanic,
if you don´t choose the electrodes right...or use water based solutions
with it.

Good luck in your experiments.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on August 27, 2009, 10:28:51 PM
How many electronVolts are this ?

http://www.ask.com/bar?q=ionization+energy+of+aluminum&page=1&qsrc=66&ab=4&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sunysccc.edu%2Facademic%2Fmst%2Fptable%2Fal.html

It converts to 5.986 eV

What is ordinary sunlight? Is it enough to knock out the electron?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on August 27, 2009, 10:39:19 PM
Hi,
I found it:

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/B/AE_band_gap.html

Band gaps and solar cells

To free an electron, the energy of a photon must be at least as great as the band gap energy. However, photons with more energy than the band gap energy will expend that extra amount as heat when freeing electrons. So, it's important for a solar cell to be "tuned" – through slight modifications to the silicon's molecular structure – to optimize the photon energy. A key to obtaining an efficient solar cell is to convert as much sunlight as possible into electricity.

Crystalline silicon has a band gap energy of 1.1 electron-volts (eV). (An electron-volt is equal to the energy gained by an electron when it passes through a potential of 1 volt in a vacuum.) The band gap energies of other effective photovoltaic semiconductors range from 1.0 to 1.6 eV. In this range, electrons can be freed without creating extra heat.

The photon energy of light varies according to the different wavelengths of the light.

The entire spectrum of sunlight, from infrared to ultraviolet, covers a range of about 0.5 eV to about 2.9 eV. For example, red light has an energy of about 1.7 eV, and blue light has an energy of about 2.7 eV. Most solar cells cannot use about 55% of the energy of sunlight, because this energy is either below the bandgap of the material or carries excess energy.

============

So it is important to have a material that has the same
bandgap as in the range of the sunlight.

So 5.986 eV from Aluminium is much too high.
You would not loose any electrons just with sunlight.

You need a material that is in the 1.5 eV range about for
good conversion.

Can you please lookup which materials are in this range ?

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on August 28, 2009, 01:41:19 AM
New product worth checking into for this project!

Wire glue

This is a new conductive glue that can be used in place of soldering...

Check for it at think geek.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on August 28, 2009, 02:18:11 AM
Thanks for your comments everyone.

Stefan, I went back and rechecked the unit, being careful this time not to touch the ends of the probes or contact the carbon black pigment or aluminum foil with anything other than the probes of the voltage-meter. It read zero volts. Even up close to the light, I still had no voltage reading, so what you suggested must have been correct. I had a false reading due to contact with probably moisture and my skin surface.

So the only light that might shake loose an electron from foil would be in the ultra-violet range.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

I do like the idea of conductive glue though. Thanks Infringer, I will get some.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on October 10, 2009, 01:50:01 AM
Here is another good video how to make a dye sensitive solar cell
using blackberry juice and Titandioxid all  with a step by step explanation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17SsOKEN5dE

Now we only need to find a cheaper solution for the ITO conductive coated glas.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on October 10, 2009, 02:25:45 AM
Here is another good video showing it all step by step.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbsl1NP5uZI

This time vinegar is used for the TIO2 paste,
but it needs much more heating, so using nitric acid for the TIO2 paste is probably
much less energy expensive in the production process..
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Kator01 on October 10, 2009, 03:27:46 PM
Hi Resinrat2,

here are some good data and explanations :

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/Tables/photoelec.html (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/Tables/photoelec.html)
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/mod1.html#c3 (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/mod1.html#c3)
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/mod1.html#c5 (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/mod1.html#c5)

looks like workfuction equals first ionisation energy-level

Regards

kator01
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jeanna on October 23, 2009, 07:53:49 PM
This guy has taken the PAL design 100 steps along.
It is still the same design but have a look. It is very clean... also green.
He seems to have a canadian accent.
I have not been to his website yet... I just came here first.
Please have a look.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=796_1256162545 (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=796_1256162545)

jeanna

I just went there and here is a pic with price. It sounds like a lot, but in the Northeast USA where it is often bitter cold and sunny, it would pay for itself in a year or 2.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: tishatang on November 02, 2009, 09:52:49 AM
Hi All
Today I made a discovery of a solar cell made prior to 1913.  This is from a book called THE BOY ELECTRICIAN by Alfred P. Morgan pub 1913.  Search for it on scrib.com.  On page 185 of the doc which is page 355 of the book is this brief mention of a solar cell made of violet glass and dissimilar metals. About the size of a common window.  Old stuff I know like a thermocouple.  But claimed one day in sun could light 30 light bulbs for three days!  Can a modern solar cell that size do that?  Have we been led down the wrong path?  If they could do that in 1913, where is that tech today, other than suppressed?  Only said Massachusetts inventor.  Maybe someone can find patent?

Download this book for your library.  A complete DIY manual to make everything.  About 200M of interesting look into the past.

tishatang

Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: mdmiller on November 02, 2009, 04:11:34 PM
probably this
http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=EppFAAAAEBAJ&dq=527379

Patent number: 527379
Filing date: Feb 16, 1894

APPARATUS FOR GENERATING ELECTRICITY BY SOLAR HEAT MELVIN L. SEVERY
also see his patent 620855
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jeanna on November 02, 2009, 05:35:09 PM

 The idea is that the aluminum and carbon black surfaces do not come in contact with each other so they are electrically isolated.

Sunlight enters the tube at the top, strikes the aluminum cone surface and ejects an electron from the metal surface (ionization energy of aluminum) which is deflected sideways (due to the cone shape) and strikes the carbon black inside surface of the tube.

..... The idea is that the ejected electrons would flow the circuit from carbon black back to the aluminum metal.

I am getting erratic readings right now when the tube is pointed toward the overhead fluorescent lights, some as high as 0.6 volts. ...
...

Hi RR2,
I missed that post last summer. WOW.

I am wondering what 'kind' of voltage this is?
Is it dc?
If so, can you make 3 and put them in series just to know?

It could be dc to begin with, but as it moves around it could oscillate, so I am curious.

Someone told me RF is not usually in the mv but is normally in the uv so, I bet you have something.

thank you,

jeanna
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: ResinRat2 on November 02, 2009, 09:14:10 PM
Hi Jeanna,

Sorry, if you kept reading to the later post here:

http://www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=6699.msg198923#msg198923

you would see it was caused most likely from moisture from my hand and contact with the probes.

There was no voltage from that unit. ( much to my dispair.)

RR2
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: MasterPlaster on November 02, 2009, 10:13:23 PM

Another good demo.
(in German)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxjLASCU46s&feature=related
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 03, 2009, 12:21:58 AM
Another good demo.
(in German)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxjLASCU46s&feature=related

Good video, but much too complicated.
I am trying to develop a paint, that you can just
put on normal glas or any other plastic foil that is transparent and
have cheap graphite paper as the second electrode and use
cheap materials.
I hope I will crack this soon.

As least i know now, that the PN-Layer required is between the
SnO2 and TiO2 ,
so why not mix SnO2 ( which is conductive) and TiO2
and mix is with a binder and have this way one electrode which you
can put onto a plastic transparent foil.
Then as the other electrode: graphite paper .
That will be just enough
and maybe we will find just a cheaper electrolyte than Betadine
or Iodide solution.
I bought today from the local pharmacy  Betaisodona solution for around 5 Euros
and will try this as the Electrolyte.
It contains about 11 % Iodid.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: tishatang on November 03, 2009, 04:15:30 AM
@mdmiller
Thanks for looking, but that's not the process.  I gave a bad link name.  Go here and download the referenced book:

http://www.scribd.com/

THE BOY ELECTRICIAN by Alfred P. Morgan 1913

The process is a twisted wire mesh of copper and German-silver wire behind violet glass.  Looks easy to make but need patience.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jeanna on November 03, 2009, 04:32:42 AM
Hi Jeanna,

Sorry, if you kept reading to the later post here:

http://www.overunity.com/index.php?topic=6699.msg198923#msg198923

you would see it was caused most likely from moisture from my hand and contact with the probes.

There was no voltage from that unit. ( much to my dispair.)

RR2
Oh darn! It was such a cool idea.

@ Stephan,
Did you say you are trying to make a clear paint for this?

If this is what you are wanting then please consider sodium or potassium silicate.
This is very alkaline at first, but I believe when it cures that it is neutral. It is very stable as you would expect from a rock! ;)

I have today experimented with silicone caulk which may work well or better if the silicate paint does not.
I squeezed the gel from the can then applied it with a plastic putty knife. It was easy to apply and dries in 3 hours and cures in 3 days. It remains flexible and is 100% waterproof.
1 can covered 2 square feet of surface. (I am covering canvas )
I remember the decade when this was introduced. The label never even claimed it was waterproof. Now, after 30 years of experience, the label is claiming 50 years warranty.

I believe when sodium silicate was invented in the 1800's, TiO2 was added as a white colorant for use in white paint.

I found information on this from a google search for 'sodium silicate' and an old chemistry reference book showed up in google books.

jeanna
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: andi742 on November 15, 2009, 06:57:23 PM
okay - i just read through a few posts here in the forum
i was the producer of the video posted above ("How to make a dye sensitized solar cell HTL Braunau" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaGrHrLdRhs) and i have worked on that topic for 2 years now. The pn junction what you always talk about is in the case of the dye sensitized solar cell not necesarry! the dye which is sticked to the titanium dioxide is lifted to a higher energy state and loses an electron to the tio2 - which then transports it to the ITO glass plate and over the load and counter electrode back to the dye.
another point - cheap ITO glass can be purchased bye asking for heat isolating window glass because they are electrically conductive on one side
i attachted my english instruction sheet with a overview on the technology and the abstract of my work
feel free to contact me or reply to my post....
regards andi
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 15, 2009, 08:45:15 PM
Hi Andi,
in my opinion, the PN Layer is between the
ITO and the TiO2 layer...

I tried to use just TiO2 without the ITO layer and that
does not work.

So it is the bandgap between the ITO and the TiO2 layer
that must be there to produce the conversion of light.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: andi742 on November 16, 2009, 08:14:21 AM
hey!
ok just a short thing again: there is no pn layer in the dsc as it is in a silicon solar cell!
of course you need the ito as well as the tio2 because you can't get the electron from the tio2 directly. you need a certain layer (ITO)  that is capable of conduct to a let's say copper wire!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sensitized_solar_cells
regards andi
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 16, 2009, 04:10:30 PM
hey!
ok just a short thing again: there is no pn layer in the disc as it is in a silicon solar cell!
of course you need the ito as well as the tio2 because you can't get the electron from the tio2 directly. you need a certain layer (ITO)  that is capable of conduct to a let's say copper wire!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sensitized_solar_cells
regards andi

Hi Andi,
you always need a bandgap for the conversion of light in my experience.

I had in one experiment the TiO2 plus red tea extract first on a normal glas disc without ITO and after this layer
a graphite layer,which was conductive and was also wet in saltwater for the electrolyte,
but there was only galvanic effects of 0.3 Volts, but no light sensivity.
Okay, I did not use any Iodide solution as the electrolyte,
but in copperoxid solarcells you can also use saltwater as the electolyte, no Iodide
needed...

So I really think, that the bandgap between the ITO, which is a P-Layer semiconductor
and TiO2, which is a N-Layer semiconductor IS NEEDED.

Regards, Stefan.

P.S: But I will test it soon also with Iodide solution again.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: andi742 on November 16, 2009, 04:17:50 PM
could you please explain how you got the electric circuit with the graphite saltwater thing....
like: dye->tio2->ito->load->ito->graphite->iodine->dye (for the dsc)
saltwater simply not works because there is no redox couple - iodine has I- and (I3)-
you don't have anything like that with Na+ and Cl-
and the bandgap that you always talk about is the energy that the dye needs (and gets from the photon) to lift an electron from the normal state to the excited state!

you can really believe me ;-)
i worked on that topic for many many hundreds of hours! maybe read the wikipedia article and you will know what I want to explain to you
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 17, 2009, 12:41:47 AM
Hi Andi,
just try this:

Mix TiO2 with vinegar and put it onto a NORMAL glas plate.
Then heat the glas plate and apply the dye.
Let the dye soak into the TiO2 and then let it dry.
Then use a burning candle to make a black graphite (lamp black) layer ontop of this TiO2.
This will be the conducting electrical current pickup layer.

Then soak this glas plate into the Iodine electrolyte and use with a bit distance
just graphite paper ( a mix of graphite and acrylic binder) as the second electrode.

Then use a light to shine onto the glas plate to see, if this cell is light sensitive.

Instead of the lampblack layer on the TiO2 you could also use a silver metal wire
or silver mesh to collect the current from the TiO2, if your arguments are
valid, but I guess, as the ITO-TiO2 is missing, there will be no PN-layer and thus
no conversion of light.
You will only see galvanic voltage effects.

Please also try it and let me know.

Many thanks.
Regards, Stefan.

Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 17, 2009, 02:49:22 AM
try optical brighters as your dye source and or fluorescent dyes.

some homemade LASER Dyes people use that might help in some solar cell experiments for dye type solar cells.

I've been looking into reasonable things for DIY laser folks, and so far I have two cheap and easy candidates, which I describe on Inexpensive Laser Dyes for the Do-It-Yourselfer. In case you want a quick precis, they are:


"Highlight" fluorescent markers. I've lased 2 or 3 of the available colors. The Sharpie "Accent" yellow-barrel marker (makes a yellow-green highlight) is probably the best I've found so far.

Several of the brighteners used in laundry detergents are good blue or indigo laser dyes. It is possible to use some liquid laundry detergents directly. I lased All “Free Clear” in 2000, using a low-pressure nitrogen laser; and Jarrod Kinsey has recently been getting very nice results with Arm and Hammer 2x liquid concentrate, pumping it with a TEA nitrogen laser.
If you try this, remember to use detergents that are listed as “No Dyes, No Perfumes”, and are as close to water-clear as possible: murky blue gunk is obviously not going to work. A few of the better organic detergents actually are free of dyes, including optical brighteners, so it’s a good idea to test for fluorescence before you buy, or look for the word “brightener” in the ingredient list. OTOH, most or all of the major brands, at least the ones that are transparent, appear to be good candidates.

You can, alternatively, make an alcohol extract of a dry powder detergent (I have gotten my best results with Arm and Hammer). This works extremely well, provided you can filter or centrifuge the extract to remove the remaining dusty bits of detergent. I believe that this method works best with 91% pure (or higher) isopropyl alcohol or 95% ethanol, but it may be possible to do it with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

Far and away, however, the best thing I've found along these lines so far is “Optic Whitener”, from Dharma Trading Co. A very small amount of this, diluted with isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, will fill a dye cuvette that is pumped by a nitrogen laser; and the bottle contains 8 ounces, so it will last several lifetimes. (I have not yet tried it in a flashlamp-pumped dye laser, but I will when I have time, and I'm confident that it will work nicely.)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 17, 2009, 03:12:10 AM
also, here is an article on what I have been preaching a long time now by combining beta- emitters with Phosphor compounds and then laminating it over solars cells.

http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:MPK_Co%27s_Litroenergy
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: andi742 on November 17, 2009, 08:23:10 AM
just try this:

Mix TiO2 with vinegar and put it onto a NORMAL glas plate.
Then heat the glas plate and apply the dye.
Let the dye soak into the TiO2 and then let it dry.
Then use a burning candle to make a black graphite (lamp black) layer ontop of this TiO2.
This will be the conducting electrical current pickup layer.

Then soak this glas plate into the Iodine electrolyte and use with a bit distance
just graphite paper ( a mix of graphite and acrylic binder) as the second electrode.

Then use a light to shine onto the glas plate to see, if this cell is light sensitive.

Instead of the lampblack layer on the TiO2 you could also use a silver metal wire
or silver mesh to collect the current from the TiO2, if your arguments are
valid, but I guess, as the ITO-TiO2 is missing, there will be no PN-layer and thus
no conversion of light.
You will only see galvanic voltage effects.

I don't really have the time to do experiments at the moment but just one guess why it does not work: the heat of the candle destroys all the dye molecules!

the whole laser dye thing --> i don't know if any of those work but the thing is that they are all almost white or blue -> they absorb nearly nothing of the visible spectrum
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 17, 2009, 09:10:02 AM
LASER dyes can be made to work with most frequencies, including visible light.

you can buy specific frequency LASER dyes to match just about any frequency you want.

it will be more difficult making a homemade LASER dye to match your required frequencies, it just takes research.

for instance, try bleeding out the fluorescent purple dye from a purple colored high lighter felt pen, mix it with your TiO2 and test the results, do this with all high light color pens to see what the best results are.

after finding the sweet spot between color ranges then take the best high lighter results and try making it more efficient by using the other High lighter colors to get your absorption spectrum just right.

just trying to help with this research based on using photomultiplying dyes that may benefit solar technology.

if you really want some good research, then as I suggested mix the Radio beta- emitters with phosphorus and then add photomultiplying LASER dyes to the mix.

finding the optimal Beta- emitter that emits UV radiation from high energy beta- emission then mix the Isotope into a Phosphorus compound to achieve higher intensity Beta- Light to coat onto Solar cells to make compact radio Solar cell Batteries.

I myself would use Radio Beta- emitting Quantum Dots, but that would be expensive.

Jerry 8)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 17, 2009, 09:12:46 PM
the interesting thing about betavoltaic solar cell batteries is night or day when they are not in use you can store unused energy potentials in batteries or super caps to increase energy density output.

this is the next generation of green energy, it is to bad we have to make sure we don't violate certain Isotope laws for certain isotopes, it's like the government knows it's potential and keeps it from being discovered to its highest potential. power mongers have their grips on the most advanced technology used in super secret nuclear spacecraft hidden in the deepest of skunk works. real shame actually.

to;Stefan
Stefan, if I built a betavoltaic solar cell battery that met radiological safety requirements and built it to the specifications of a D size battery and it did what I say it does as a thirty year battery would you except it for qualification of the OU prize? you could simply place the D size BVSCB in a single celled D sized flash light and turn it on and it will not run down for thirty years, hopefully I wouldn't have to wait 30 years to win the prize.

Jerry 8)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 17, 2009, 11:44:26 PM
some other interesting things, one can replace the Mercury gas inside a fluorescent bulb with Tritium gas and it will light up by reacting with the white phosphor coating inside the tube. it would be moderately bright and you would never need to pay for electricity to light your home. it would generate white light.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 18, 2009, 12:05:37 AM
the interesting thing about betavoltaic solar cell batteries is night or day when they are not in use you can store unused energy potentials in batteries or super caps to increase energy density output.

this is the next generation of green energy, it is to bad we have to make sure we don't violate certain Isotope laws for certain isotopes, it's like the government knows it's potential and keeps it from being discovered to its highest potential. power mongers have their grips on the most advanced technology used in super secret nuclear spacecraft hidden in the deepest of skunk works. real shame actually.

to;Stefan
Stefan, if I built a betavoltaic solar cell battery that met radiological safety requirements and built it to the specifications of a D size battery and it did what I say it does as a thirty year battery would you except it for qualification of the OU prize? you could simply place the D size BVSCB in a single celled D sized flash light and turn it on and it will not run down for thirty years, hopefully I wouldn't have to wait 30 years to win the prize.

Jerry 8)

Hi Jerry,
if it can at least provide 1 Watts of power contineously and the
materials for it would not be too expensive and would
be available to the general public and it could be selfmade by a hobbyist-tinkerer, why not !

Just build it an apply it for the OU prize !

Many thanks in advance.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 18, 2009, 12:06:42 AM
some other interesting things, one can replace the Mercury gas inside a fluorescent bulb with Tritium gas and it will light up by reacting with the white phosphor coating inside the tube. it would be moderately bright and you would never need to pay for electricity to light your home. it would generate white light.

Could this lightly radioactive Tritium gas be selfmade or how do you get it or can extract it somewhere ?

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 18, 2009, 01:19:14 AM
Hi Stefan.

Tritium is currently produced via Neutron bombardment of a Neutron source, the Neutrons are slowed down by a high thermal cross section shield so that Hydrogen's high affinity for Neutrons captures it and converts the Hydrogen to Deuterium, the same is done for Tritium by bombarding Deuterium with a Neutron source.

it is actually the conversion of ordinary water bombarded by Neutrons and being converted to Heavy Water. Deuterium or Tritium rich.

here is a place Tritium can be bought.
http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/faq.html

you can also purchase it from third party retailers.

Tritium requires no license to purchase it or to have it.
technically Tritium is a waste material.

Tritium is inexpensive for its energy potential.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: onthecuttingedge2005 on November 18, 2009, 11:48:48 AM
what I gauge energy comparison on is Antimatter reacts with its matter equivalent to release 1.8*10^17 joules per kilogram of antimatter annihilated. This is equivalent to ~43 million tons of TNT.

that is a lot of ionizing radiation.

it makes all other forms of energy conversion look horribly out dated.

1/2 kilogram of Hydrogen contains 9.0 × 10^16 joules of energy potential.

no OU, just highly efficient.

Jerry 8)
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: jadaro2600 on November 18, 2009, 06:25:30 PM
what I gauge energy comparison on is Antimatter reacts with its matter equivalent to release 1.8*10^17 joules per kilogram of antimatter annihilated. This is equivalent to ~43 million tons of TNT.

that is a lot of ionizing radiation.

it makes all other forms of energy conversion look horribly out dated.

1/2 kilogram of Hydrogen contains 9.0 × 10^16 joules of energy potential.

no OU, just highly efficient.

Jerry 8)

..a theoretical matter, which, would consume all non antimatter; thus there would be fuel and no byproducts.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on February 22, 2010, 05:13:59 AM
Here is a proposal for you folks some TIO2+Diatom Powder+Iodine ;) diatoms or fossils of algae are already proven to increase energy out by 3x the amount.

Check out science channels the future of videos for the reference.

Easy test would be to take a solar cell purchase some diatom powder then dillute it with water use eye dropper to apply to surface of cell let air dry on complete surface then test output under same light source.

ENJOY finally cheap power increase may be in our grasp!

I would still like to see if piezoelectric materials would not increase the output as well...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: The Architect on August 11, 2010, 01:18:07 AM
this is something I have thought about in the past and my thoughts on it were this.

with solar cells there is three layers that MUST exist.

a P which is a layer of positively active or basically a layer of atoms that have a need for electrons. the way I have always seen this is that there is a certain amount of electrons all atoms want in their outer most shell. this amount actually though is in two areas. so they can either gain electrons if they do not have it or loose them.

so say we fill a doping agent like clear lacquer with something that is positively charged. the lacquer needs to be mostly silicone or carbon based so that it is neutral. once the positive materials are added then the whole mess becomes positive and wants to absorb electrons.

make a second batch of this stuff but substitute a negatively charged substance (has enough electrons and wants to drop as it is easier thus it is trying to give those electrons away)

and ofcourse we need a third doped material that has a balance so it becomes a barrier. the barrier needs to be thin right? so how about a thinner in it so that when it all drys up it leaves an even coat of it but is extremely thin.

once you have all of this you need a base to place it all on and it should be conductive, as well as have a color to it. darker the better. the dark substance can be suspended though too in one of the two doped layers.

here is the trick too on choosing the doping agents, they must not only be either negative or positive but also you need to look at the frequency of light it interacts with. the more of that frequency in the light you are using to generate the electricity the more electricity or electrons the doping agents will absorb or give off. so if you choose something in the blue spectrum for the top (best as blue can be killed easier than red) then you should choose something that is effected by red for the bottom layer. the middle layer should be as clear as possible.

so for argument sake we use a plate of aluminum for the plate to apply everything to.

next we spray paint on the doped negatively charged substance.
let it dry then spray on the barrier substance.
again let this dry and then spray on the positive charged substance.

the last layer on all of this is going to be the collection or release frame wich is just a bunch of collectivly  connected traces of something conductive. I have not looked so I am not sure what charge the aluminum is so that should be checked on as well. each metal is positively or negatively prone thus why acids and differning metals make batteries. you would want though something on both sides that is not only opposing but also inert to oxidation at least to the solar cells P and N layered materials both doping and substrate substances.

real trick is if you use a flexible paint and dope it with fine powdered metal to get it to conduct power you could make solar cells that are nothing more than stickers. imagine being able to just peel and stick as much solar power as you need on something like a car or the roof of an RV.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: The Architect on August 11, 2010, 01:22:24 AM
also not sure if you are aware of this but LCDs use polarized plastics. and polarized plastics basically have iodine a metal absorbed into it then the plastic is stretched and stretched like taffy and folded to get it to force the iodine to form fibrous filaments all running in parallel to each other, then when light strikes these since they are running one way and not another they produce a counter active photonic output negating those photos matching in one direction but allow the the others to slip through. the polarity of the light it emits or blocks is solely based on the direction the fibers run and what direction they are turned.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 21, 2010, 05:17:43 PM
Here is a new video of NurdRage how to make a selfmade Graetzel solar cell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrdUlPM4x0Y

I wonder, if it would be possible just to use stainless steel mesh as the electrodes..

Just sinter the TiO2 between this stainless steel mesh and also put  graphite onto the other stainless steel mesh electrode.. I guess this should also work then...

This would dramatically reduce the costs...
Then one would only need to find a better and more stable dye
with higher efficiency...

So the sun can go into the holes of the stainless steel mesh and go into the dye soaked
TiO2 with electrolyte around it.

I will try it soon.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 21, 2010, 05:31:16 PM
Well, I thought, that the PN layer nessessary for the bandgap to convert the light to
electricity was in the ITO layer versus the TiO2,
but NurdRage told me in a private mail,
that he also succeeded in making a solar cell by sintering the TiO2 on a Titanium electrode !

So this is very interesting.

It seems the real photo to electricity conversion then really takes place
in the dye soaked TiO2 and with the Iodide electrolyte.

The electrodes seem to play a minor role then..

Regards, Stefan.

P.S. for this other experiment NurdRage used Titanium and Platinum
electrodes.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: infringer on November 21, 2010, 07:33:54 PM
http://www.lowes.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&cId=SEARCH&productId=3013500&cm_mmc=SCE_gps-_-gps-_-gps-_-Phifer%2050%20x%2036%20Brite%20Bronze%20Copper%20Screen%20Wire%203001826

Why not try different screens available like this copper screen ... Maybe heating this like the first copper cells on a hot plate would add more power and prove useful in some strange way...

Just a thought...

PS STEPHAN what do you mean by sintering do you mean " Centering "  Center means exact middle of an axis.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: e2matrix on November 22, 2010, 01:48:26 AM
Maybe something along these lines:  Wikipedia - Sintering is a method for making objects from powder, by heating the material in a sintering furnace[1] below its melting point (solid state sintering) until its particles adhere to each other. Sintering is traditionally used for manufacturing ceramic objects, and has also found uses in such fields as powder metallurgy.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 23, 2010, 03:40:06 PM
I tried it yeasterday to build electrodes from stainless steel
wire mesh and put TiO2 between it on one mesh and
the other mesh I put lampblack from a candle on there.
Then I used Hagebuttentea (rosehip tea) as the dye and the TiO2
embedded this when the TiO2 was heated and dry again.

Then I used Betaisodonna Iodide Solution (antiseptic solution) as the electrolyte,
but it did give no light sensivity, just the normal dissimular galvanic cell voltage...

Probably I need a better dye and a better electrolyte...

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on November 25, 2010, 01:58:52 AM
Here is a new method for to build a selfmade solar cell
based on a solder wire and a few other chemicals:

http://www.thesolarspark.co.uk/?page=forTeachers&teachersPage=forTeachers_experiments

Very interesting.
I think this is even simpler to scale up than a Graetzel
because you don´t need any ITO coated glas.
With larger surface ZnO surfaces, this cell should really produce a lot of power.

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on December 07, 2010, 05:31:46 PM
Here is finally a very easy method how to produce
very cheaply conductive transparent glas with a SnO2 conductive
layer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTLGtgYtL08

Now we can really make cheap Graetzel solar cells !

Many thanks to Youtube user Hjesu
who made this video available !

Many thanks again.
2011 will be the selfmade DIY solar year !

Regards, Stefan.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: hartiberlin on December 07, 2010, 10:03:37 PM
Here are the single steps to make it:

1. Dissolve 5 Gramms of wet SnCl4 in 5 mL Methanol
2. Place a tile with the shiny side up into the oven
3. Heat the oven at 600 degrees
4. Place a heat resistent microscope slide on another tile into the oven
5. Let it heat for about 10 minutes and pull it out via the tile again when it is hot enough!
6. Spray the glas slide with the SnCl4 solution
7. Put it back into the oven for about 2 minutes and pull it then out again
8. Spray it again with the SnCl4 solution and put it back into the oven again and repeat this process until the desired electrical conductivity is reached.
Due to the heat the SnCl4 decomposes to SnO2.
Don´t breath the fumes and do it only in a well ventilated area, best outside !
9. Test the electrical conductivity with a digital ohmmeter and repeat the spraying-heating process until you are satisfied with the electrical resistance of the SnO2 layer.

Regards, Stefan.
Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTLGtgYtL08

and also have a look at this:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32732511/Research-on-the-usability-of-low-cost-materials-in-dye-sensitized-solar-cells

Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Tenbatsu on December 08, 2010, 12:39:31 AM
Where can one acquire these chemicals?

Can you estimate a price per watt for each cell? 

How long do these cells last before they can no longer produce energy?
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: FatBird on December 08, 2010, 02:16:39 PM
Really interesting.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: tagor on December 08, 2010, 05:25:05 PM


and also have a look at this:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32732511/Research-on-the-usability-of-low-cost-materials-in-dye-sensitized-solar-cells (http://www.scribd.com/doc/32732511/Research-on-the-usability-of-low-cost-materials-in-dye-sensitized-solar-cells)

 
can some body download this file ?
 
( it is very dificult to read it with scribd ! )
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: fatimakhan on August 25, 2011, 02:03:32 AM
I like this forum…excellent info. discovered it on yahoo. will save it as a favorite.
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Poit on August 25, 2011, 05:29:44 PM

 
can some body download this file ?
 
( it is very dificult to read it with scribd ! )

http://www.fileserve.com/file/B5TbQwG/32732511-Research-on-the-usability-of-low-cost-materials-in-dye-sensitized-solar-cells.pdf
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: 27Bubba on April 20, 2012, 03:28:53 PM
Trying to revive "old" but interesting thread. ;D

Surfing the net, I stumbled on simple explanation on how the solar cell can be made. Right now I'm experimenting with an old LCD screen... Anyhow, I wonder why this thread died? Nobody was successful with it?

http://www.solideas.com/solrcell/english.html
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bob Smith on April 21, 2012, 02:25:08 PM
Hey Bubba,
I'd be interested in seeing the results your LCD screen undertaking. I snagged one pulled from a laptop in the IT dept at work with this in mind.
Bob
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: 27Bubba on April 21, 2012, 02:53:40 PM
So far not good :(.  When pealing of the plastic from the glass it shattered even when being very careful. The LCD glass is made out of two different color layers. I elected to peal the plastic from the clear glass side. This operation went fine, when pealing the other side(threaded glass), the glass cracked in multiple places. It is much thinner! So when I get some more LCD's  I will attempt to do the coated side first.  ;D  Good luck.   
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bob Smith on April 22, 2012, 05:56:40 PM
Hey Bubba
I put my lcd screen in full sunlight and connected the 2 leads to my voltmeter - nothing showing. Guess I'll have to peel off some of the housing and circuitry. Working on another project right now, but please post your results - will try to follow.
All the best.
Bob
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: 27Bubba on April 22, 2012, 07:11:35 PM
I'm convinced that I'm not the guy to follow  ;). I'm pretty sure you know about those things more than I'm... If I stumble on something worth posting, I will do that. ;)

Best...
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Bob Smith on April 22, 2012, 10:46:16 PM
Actually, I'm probably in the same boat as you then. Not really into solar, but couldn't resist a dumpster-bound screen. When I get some time, I'll play around a bit with it. Will post anything I find as well.
Bob
 
Title: Re: Finally : cheap selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: Loveenergysavings on June 11, 2012, 02:47:02 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

Check this one out:
<a href="http://www.loveenergysavings.com/compare-business-electricity.asp"/>
Title: Re: Finally : cheap DIY selfmade solar cell with common materials !
Post by: vohuythu on November 12, 2017, 01:15:08 PM
This is great, let's continue with everyone