There are various powers, shapes and sizes of these cells available today. So you need to remember this as you are shopping for them and do not get confused by the numbers I am going to be talking about. This means the usual 1.8-watt, 3.5 amp, or 0.5 volt solar cell.
If you come across some cells that even cost more than the ones I am going to talk about it might mean that these more pricy ones have higher solar cells efficiency.
Where to Buy Cheap Solar Cells?
You can buy various price ranges of these cells depending on where you shop. The best place to look for an inexpensive solar cell is online. Just like other products, the Internet sites have lower overhead costs and pass their savings on to their customers. However, even online the prices will differ a lot between sites.
One of the places to find the cheap solar cells at is auction sites online like that of eBay. These websites keep the price low at the going rate for the market. However, these prices will vary so watch close to get the best deals.
A solar cell will break quite easily because they are so fragile. Sometimes, because of this, you can save money on slightly damaged ones. This can range from just chipped to being split in half. They are still usable though and will only have a tad less of the solar cells efficiency.
Tabbed Solar Cells
In the manufacturing process the cells are made into thin wafers that need an electrical connection to be able to get the electricity to flow right. When you search through eBay you can find both un-tabbed and pre-tabbed ones, most are pre-tabbed. All this is about is the maker of them have already provided the electrical path with adding metal tabs to the cells. This saves you on effort and time because you will not have to tab them on your own.
These pre-tabbed cells can be bought quite reasonably at about $1.50 to about $2.00 a cell. Be cautious though when buying the inexpensive cells because some are not the pre-tabbed ones. Sadly, there isn’t that much of a savings cost wise with the un-tabbed and the pre-tabbed ones. So it is smart to check closely before buying.
Chipped Solar Cells
Another way of saving money is to buy a solar cell that is chipped. These inexpensive types of cells only are damaged a bit with maybe one or two corners missing. However, the rest of the cell is fine.
The bad part of buying these cells though is that they might have lower solar cells efficiency when operating because of the part that is chipped off. Think about it if the cell is missing one fifth of its whole, it will produce one fifth less power.
You will be able to buy the chipped cells for a lot less than the pre-tabbed ones. These are usually sold or auctioned for about $1.00 – $1.25 a cell and this is a great savings as far as the inexpensive solar cells are concerned.
Broken Solar Cells
The most inexpensive way of all to purchase solar cells is to buy the broken ones. These usually damaged worse than just being chipped. They normally are broke into two pieces or even more than that. These do require more effort on your part, for one reason you might have to install tabs yourself on each piece.
These broken cells will have less solar cells efficiency when operating, however if you align enough of them up from the pieces you have you can overcome this problem and generate the same amount of electricity as a brand new one. The broken cells do require more room to get fully functional though.
The cost of the broken cells can vary a lot because of the amount of damage. However, they are about $1.00 less a solar cell.
There are a number of ways to purchase an inexpensive solar cell on the Internet; one will fit into your budget. The truth is you can buy a number of broken cells for just pennies and construct your own solar panel that can generate power effectively. You do not need to lose solar cells efficiency all together.