how to make your own solar cells?
The goal of the solar workshop is to create an independent and more or less permanent source of energy for artworks in public space. With a constant need for electricity that digital media have, an independent source of energy allows for these devices to work without maintenance and usual limitations of the proximity of an electrical source or the length of a battery life.
At the workshop, we will use only organic material to produce dye-sensitized solar cells, based on the process patented by prof. Michael Graetzel who won the Millennium Technology Prize for this invention. We will extract energy from readily available materials – like glass, berries or thee, graphite, betadine. Each cell produces about 0.4V of energy in bright sunlight.
Next to the cells, we will construct devices that can run on very low energy, so that they can be powered by our cells. We will make things that send invisible information in the electromagnetic spectrum – like low-power radio transmitters or xbees.
Making the cells is a fun and imperfect process, as not all the cells will give the same power. With joint forces at the workshop we should produce at least 10 cells that can be connected together to meet energy requirements of a device.