Finding solar cells
for sale used to be quite a daunting process. Now that prices have come down there are a couple places you can find them quite easily online. The only problem is... how do you choose the right ones for your project? They come in so many shapes and sizes as well as different power outputs that it's hard to decipher exactly what you need.
I hope after explaining the different aspects of solar cells that you're able to make an informed decision and be on your way to building your first solar panel
The first thing that you need to check out is the power output in watts of each cell. This is generally listed in the description, but if it's not you can just multiply 0.55 volts by however many amps that the solar cell creates. Each solar cell always creates 0.55 volts which makes it quite easy to figure out the wattage output of cells.
You're looking for cells that output at least 2 watts per cell. The reason behind this is simple... the more power that each cell produces the less cells that you need per panel. That makes building the panel much easier and cheaper.
The next thing you need to look at is the size of the cells. Solar cells come in almost every single shape and size that you can think of; however, my recommendation is that you go for 3' x 6' cells for one simple reason. 3' x 6' cells are perfect because you can fit 36 of them exactly onto a 2' x 4' piece of plexiglass or glass. That means you don't need to do any trimming and you save on material costs.
Now you need to decide whether you want to go for tabbed or untabbed cells. Many beginners make the mistake of going for untabbed cells because they're cheaper; however, they are a lot more difficult to work with and add hours to each panels build time. Tabbed solar cells don't cost that much more, but they save time when building a panel and they save you a lot of frustration.
It's not hard to pick out solar cells that are going to work well in your project. Just remember that you should always go for ones that produce more power per cell because you'll need less cells per panel. In addition, you should make sure that you get tabbed cells instead of untabbed cells because it will save you both time and headaches down the road. There are several places you can find solar cells for sale and doing a quick search will turn up several.
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