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Solar Cells Home

Jacqueline Said:

could i use lots of 6.7V30mA solar cells to power my home?

We Answered:

It's possible, but most likely neither practical nor cost-effective.

Home built panels would not be allowed to connect to the grid, so you would need to make a standalone system with batteries. With the possible exception of some remote islands, a battery system always ends up costing more than the grid in the long run, at least at today's prices.

Homemade panels will only last a few years at best. If you make them in such a way that they will last a long time, they will be less efficient and cost more than commercial panels.

Finally, those cells are 1/10 watt each, meaning that you would need 10,000 of them to make a a 1 kW array. It's possible, but does not seem worth it, even if the cells were free. To get a feel for the work involved, maybe try making a panel out of 100 of the cells?

I don't mean to be discouraging, just advising you of the considerations.

Matthew Said:

what makes solar cells impractical for home power? (besides the expense)?

We Answered:

Other than what Dr. Jello said. Batteries while alot better today are needed to store the energy for the nighttime and dark days. This is not a very efficient use of power. Solar is advancing and getting closer, but still has a long way to go. Without some sort of gas/electrical backup, solar has a hard time to deal with 5 days without much sun. Do to the DC to AC starting watts can also be of concern.

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