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More  Solar Cells

Solar Panels Using Broken Cells
designed by David Johnson, P.E.

As illustrated below, one way to salvage a large number of broken solar cells is to wire them in parallel, not in the more conventional series connection. Broken cells of various sizes and shapes are grouped together into panels of about one quarter to one full square foot in area. Those panels are then wired in series with other similar panels. The result is a low voltage, high current electrical power source.  A commercial or custom DC to DC converter can then be used to boost the voltage, so the panel can charge a 12v or 24v battery.
A typical 10% efficient solar cell will produce about 0.07 watts per square inch. An active area of about 140 square inches will produce about 10 watts of power.  With some careful shopping, you can sometimes buy a batch of broken solar cells at about $0.5 per watt. A 40 watt panel could therefore be made using about $20 worth of cells.
Broken photovoltaic cells Optional layout for the broken solar cells


More  Solar Cells

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