Purchase Solar Cells

by:Longsun     2020-05-27
One problem that plagues many people that try to build solar panels is where can you purchase solar cells? If you've been searching around online you've probably found several websites where you can buy solar cells... the only problem is they want an arm and a leg for them! I was in the same position a few years ago when I started building my very first solar panel. After searching high and low I finally found a reliable source of inexpensive solar cells. The best source of inexpensive solar cells that I have found to date has been eBay. It sounds crazy, but I've done lots of comparisons and they always win. These are pretty much the cheapest prices that you can find online (and I've search extensively). In the past 2 years prices have dropped below $1/watt which is phenomenal. I have to confess that I'm a bit annoyed that prices have dropped so drastically in the past 2 years because I build most of my panels at $3/watt (when buying them cost upwards of $10/watt). What Kind To Buy? Now that you know where to purchase solar cells it's always helpful to know what kind of solar cells to buy. There are many different shapes and sizes and different types as well. I experimented quite a bit with different sizes of cells and panels and found that the optimum sized panel is 2' x 4'. The reason being that you can buy glass or plexiglass in those dimensions and you can cut a piece of plywood into 4 pieces that are 2' x 4'. The other reason that's the best size is that 36 solar cells fit perfectly without you having to do any trimming to the panel. How Many Should I Buy? Well, 36 cells per panel are a standard 'kit'; however, you can save a lot of money if you buy larger quantities of cells. At a minimum I recommend that you buy 108 because that's when you start getting better deals. Why Are They So Cheap? These are what's known in the industry as Class 'B' cells. That means that they still function, but they have a cosmetic defect. That means the solar panel manufacturers won't use them and so they sell them to wholesalers. The crazy thing is that from even just 5 feet away you can't tell the difference between Grade 'B' cells or Grade 'A' cells (seriously, I've tried). So you get a huge discount, but you still get something that looks great and pumps out it's rated power.
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