Making a Portable Solar Panels

Jun 11th

Portable solar panels-Solar cells produce electricity through heat, a principle easily applied by doing one yourself. Although most solar panels are large and bulky, you can easily make small, lightweight, portable solar panels with just a few simple supplies. These small solar panels make interesting science projects and can power small devices such as a desk lamp or a mobile phone charger. Making them requires a little ingenuity, but the process is fairly simple if you work slowly.

Portable Solar Panels to Power
Portable Solar Panels to Power

Snip two rectangles of copper flashing around 1 inch smaller than the glass in your frames. If you have a 9-by-11-inch frame, the glass will probably be about 8-by-10 inches. Your copper rectangles must be about 7-by-9 inches. Place a copper rectangle on your biggest stove burner and turn the heat to high. Let the copper heat for about 30 minutes. It should spin with color and then turns black. Turn off the heat and let cool copper on the burner for about 20 minutes. The black coating will come off, revealing cuprous oxide below. Do not try to scrub away excess black coating; you will damage the oxide layer.

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Remove the glass from your picture frames. Squeeze a bead of silicone caulk around the edges of each of both the bright and oxidized copper, leaving about ½ inch between the edge of the copper and silicone. Press a copper rectangle down the center of each glass rectangles. Place the portable solar panels in the sun with the oxidized copper out. Turn on the lamp; when the copper heat, light should illuminate.