Cost Effective Solar Cells: Copper Oxide Solar Cell Construction and Testing
Students will construct an oxidized copper sheet solar cell
Students will test an oxidized copper sheet solar cell for voltage and current
This lesson is designed to be completed in one 80-minute section, but can be done in two 40-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate student construction of copper oxide plates with electric burners or hot plates. Teachers will guide students in making a basic solar-activated chemical battery with copper plates and salt water. Testing should take place both indoors and outdoors (weather-dependent). The solar cells are short-lasting and construction and testing preferably take place on the same day, although the cells can still show some slight reactivity after a 3-day (weekend) pause.
One 80-minute day: students construct and test copper oxide sheets indoors and outdoors
Two 40-minute days:
o Day 1: Students begin oxidation of copper sheets on electric hot plates, turn off hot plates, and leave oxidized copper sheets on the hot plates to cool slowly and un- disturber until the next day
o Day 2: Students remove oxidation layers and begin testing