The Buy Solar Cells Guide to turn Solar for Less. Make clever DIY Solar Power for your Homes by building your own Solar Panels Buying Solar Cells is a good idea if you are wanting to save money while turning Solar. And you can do the actual building of solar panels the DIY way.
For that you need the building block of any solar system: Solar Cells.
And Solar Energy – remember I (well, and others) suggested to compare the Cost of Solar Panels by USD/Solar Watt – gets cheaper every day.
The production costs go down, making it more and more attractive.
Not all Solar Cells are created equal
There are some – or even enormous – differences.
For example in quality, and we look into quality issues on another page on Home of Solar Energy. As a rule of thump it makes sense to buy high quality Europe or US made solar cells, they seem to be preferable to cheap imports.
Tabbed or Un-tabbed
But there is another difference. Is the solar cell you have in mind tabbed or not, meaning un-tabbed.
That is no quality or technological difference, but a difference in the time it will take you to build your own solar panels.
And a difference in the risk you take to damage the cell in the assembly process
And though the solar cell costs are lower for the untabbed cells, you will spend more time on doing the wiring yourself, maybe – if you are inexperienced – risking damaging the cells in the soldering process.
So what exactly is meant by “tabbed solar cell”?
Well, solar cells produce electricity from sunlight by becoming charged. The front side produces a negative charge and the back side a positive.
To get a higher voltage you have to combine these single charges (back- and frontside) to one bigger charge – by wiring them.
With a tabbed cell you get an already wired and ready to use version.
Advantages of Tabbed Solar Cells
And logically, an un-tabbed cell you have to connect to wires with a soldering gun first – and if you are inexperienced, you may overheat the cell. Well, I guess that has to happen to everyone, how else can you otherwise become a seasoned and experienced ’diy solar power’ guy/gal? 🙂
So, for example, to get about 19 V in order to charge your phone or any 12 V system, you need to connect 36 cells each delivering about .55 V of power.
If you buy un-tabbed solar cells you will have to solder wire to 36 cells first – or you order them pre made. Luckily it has gotten much easier to get hold of Solar Cells. That was much harder not too long ago, if you didn’t intend to buy more than some thousand pieces at once.
Where to buy Solar Cells
You should go to ebay and amazon to check out their latest bargains. Also check out Kriss Bergethon’s (my free ebook for signing up for my newsletter on the right side is mostly written by Kriss) great website SolarSphere.com.