Copper Oxide Solar Cell Construction and Testing

Who knew some pieces of copper and some saltwater would be enough to generate electricity? The fifth of 14 lessons in the Cost Effective Solar Cells unit challenges scholars to create a solar cell. They take two copper sheets, use a hot plate to oxidize the copper, then place the sheets in saltwater. After connecting the sheets with a multimeter, they test out their devices both indoors and outdoors.

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Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Have the class record observations in science journals
Classroom Considerations
  • A hot plate or electric burner is necessary for each group
  • Be sure to go over safety issues before conducting the activity
Pros
  • Includes suggestions for extension activities
  • Provides detailed instructions with pictures and diagrams
Cons
  • None