SOLAR CELLS WITH VEGETABLES

Laia Pellejà, Fernando Gomollón-Bel, Catalan Institute of Chemical Research (ICIQ)

INTRODUCTION

During photosynthesis, plants turn solar light into energy. In order to make the most of sunlight, we can copy the processes that plants use and use organic compounds (such as chlorophyll or carotenes) to make electricity.

Objectives

Prepare solar cells with products that we can buy at the supermarket (such as vegetables or spices) to produce enough energy to turn on an LED diode.

MATERIALS

  • Water
  • Acetone
  • Glasses
  • Spinach, cabbage, saffron, curry, wine
  • Conductive glass coated in TiO2
  • Conductive glass
  • Pencil
  • Betadine (or similar iodine dissolution)
  • Butterfly clips
  • Voltmeter, cables and crocodile clips
  • Solar light
  • LED diodes in different colours

Steps to follow

1.

PREPARE the juices and the vegetable and spice extractions.

2.

SUBMERGE the pieces of glass with TiO2 in the juices for 10-15 minutes.

3.

CLEAN the pieces of glass and dry them.

4.

COLOUR IN the other piece of glass using the pencil until the surface is covered.

5.

PLACE the pieces of glass against each other and use the butterfly clips to keep them together.

6.

INTRODUCE the Betadine between the pieces of glass.

7.

ATTACH the crocodile clips to each of the pieces of glass and connect them to the voltmeter or the LEDs.

8.

OBSERVE which different vegetables absorb light of different colours and obtain different voltages.

9.

COLLECT the voltage data for different vegetables.

Form

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