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Description: High quality, high output, full enclosed solar cell with barrel plug termination. This is a custom cell produced for SparkFun - not a small toy surplus item! This unit is rated for 8V open voltage and 650mA short circuit. We actually took a random unit outside and measured 9.55V open voltage and 550mA short circuit.

Termination is a 5.5mm x 2.1mm barrel plug, center positive on a 2m cable. Mates directly with many of our development boards. Monocrystalline high efficiency cells at 15-15.2%. Unit has a clear epoxy coating with hard-board backing. Robust sealing for out door applications!

Check out this iPhone Charger!

Dimensions: 180x220mm (7.09x8.66")

Comments 47 comments

  • Does this work in a vacuum? (the kind without air, not the cleaning kind)

    • After 3 years of thinking about it, I think I have arrived at an answer.

      Does this work in a vacuum?

      Yes. PV uses energy from photons (aka light). Light does not need air to impart energy (see photoelectric/photovoltaic effect).

    • Satellites use solar cells in space, and space is a vacuum.

    • Odd question. One caveat that comes to mind is that, yes, it will work (as others say), provided there isn’t some internal sealed cavity currently filled with air that could pop (probably isn’t), but solar panels don’t like to be especially hot, and in a vacuum there’d be no convective or conductive avenue for cooling. In sun, the panel will likely get quite hot, maybe to the point of seriously decreased efficiency, maybe to the point of failure.

      Did you ever try it? Do you have experimental results for us?!

      • Don’t remember why I asked this, I was never planning on building a high altitude balloon or anything.

        That is fascinating about heat conductivity, though. I had never thought about that. Thanks for the info.

    • Well, the first application of PV was by the Aerospace industry. So I would imagine it would work. No reasons it would not work are coming to mind. No guarantees from our end though.

  • Any chance we could get a weight on this?

  • Hi, What is the weight of that solar cell?

  • does Sparkfun have a Big Red box for this too?

  • What Lipo Charger/booster do you recommend? and which battery? I would like to use it for an autonomous system (battery + arduino). The link in the comments don’t work. This link works: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8293 but how can I easely plug an arduino? My goal is to made the minimum of manufacturing (for children for exemple). Thank you very much!

  • Anyone with idea of the weight of this solar cell?

  • Got one and measured today, clear sky, 60F. Allowed a few minutes to warm and stabilize. Measured 9.62V Voc, 640ma Isc. Using a rough estimate of 0.7 for power factor gives maximum of 4.3W. We make a range of smartphone & universal charging products, which accept a wide range of inputs including solar modules - this one works fine. www.custompowersolar.com

  • The best case real power output of this is 9.550.550.7, to get maximum power point in watts, or 3.7watts. You need to use that 0.7 factor on all these modules where they indicate Voc (open circuit voltage) and Isc (short circuit current). Please modify your listings - you don’t want customers to be disappointed when they found out they aren’t that high power.

  • What is the current and voltage at its maximum power point? How many cells are on it? Hard to tell from the photo. Are there 16 cells or 32 smaller ones with pairs wired in parallel?

  • Two questions: Can we get some data on output power vs various weather conditions? Is the hard-board backing suitable to be left out in the rain?

  • I’m also thinking of using this for backpacking/outdoorsy stuff.
    What exactly is the “hard-board backing”? I’m hoping to glue some kind of tether to it so I can hang it off the back of my pack when I’m walking around.

  • so by using multiple cells can you increase multiply the 550mA discharge rate by the number of cells?

  • Since there’s no datasheet posted and some people seem interested:
    I can get you an IV Curve, Isc, Voc, Pmax, Imp, Vmp, FF, efficiency, and temp. coefficients. Just send me whatever modules or cells you want data for with return shipping.

  • Will anyone recommend a battery to charge using this panel?

  • What is the depth of this unit?

    • The small box on the back side is 8.3mm from the top of the panel to the end of the box. The panel itself is 3.2mm thick.

  • Is there a good way to mount it?

    • Unfortunately it doesn’t have much in the ways of mounting hardware. If you have a table saw handy (not assuming everyone does, just a suggestion) it’d fit pretty well in a groove-cut wood frame.

      • Ended up using clear packaging tape to mount it to the inside of a window. Plan on sandwiching the panel between a sheet of plexiglass and a board for the next application.

  • You’ve linked to the iPhone charger ‘instructable’ but the output of this is ~8v and the max input for the LiPo charger is 7 volts. Is the output voltage of this panel under load low enough to use the LiPoly charger? I’d suspect yes, but maybe someone has tried it and has a more informed answer…

  • Any idea on stock status? Thanks.

  • Any chance we may know when these will be back in stock?

  • Just ordered one. I’m going to be building a solar charger for my iPhone. An “on-the-fly” one, with no batteries. If I feel the need, I may implement a li-ion battery/charger into the design later.
    But yeah, I’m going to be using it for hiking/camping/outdoor trips when I will be away from electricity for extended periods of time. Basically - Charge during the day (Solar Cell either mounted to my backpack/gear or on top of a tent) then have the change for later in the afternoon/evening to check email, browse the web, etc.
    Oh by the way - For the people who own(ed) one of these, is it element-resistant? Like can it withstand some wetness/rain? If not Ill just cover it in plastic and what not.

  • I’d really like to know the weight of this panel. Does anyone have one that they can put on a scale?

  • According to sparkfun team, it should come in around November 27th. :)

  • Any info on when/if this will be available again?

  • That’s actually a solar panel. But anyway, is it weatherproof? And is there a good way to mount it?

  • It would be helpful if you included a rough wattage for solar panels. Based on its area and efficiency this one is probably capable of something like 5 watts in full sunshine.

    • Multiplying the current and voltage will give you wattage. 8V x .650A = 5.2 Watts.

      • Not quite. That is the short circuit current and the open circuit voltage – it can’t do both at the same time. The sweet spot (called the max power point) is somewhere in between and will have both less current than short circuit and less voltage than open circuit.

        • You may be thinking of AC wattage, which has a power factor in the calculation. DC wattage is just like Vexer said: Volts * Amps.

          • No, csloser is definitely right. Solar cells have a maximum power sweet-spot (Pmax). You can never draw the short-circuit current (Isc) at the open-circuit voltage (Voc). Pmax < Voc*Isc.

            • You’re right. The reason is because the solar cell has an internal resistance. You get max power when then resistance of the load circuit resistance is equal to the internal resistance.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_power_transfer_theorem


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