Your Questions About Solar Panel Efficiency

Ken asks…

Solar Panel Question?

My Grandparents still live in their ranch. I am trying to find out how to get them a solar panel system as a main source for their electricity.

The house is a small 2 bedroom with about 4 or 5 lighting fixtures and about 4 or 5 duplex receptacle outlets.

The one machine they might have a problem with is the water pump that draws water out of the well, but I think that the one they use is gas operated.

My question is how many low cost/efficiency panels do they need, as well as marine batteries and the type of power inverter.

Also, I have heard of different wiring method that can help wattage or amperage. I believe they are called wiring in series and I forgot the other method. Anyway, would it make a difference?

Thank You.

ssadmin answers:

You can probably build a system to power your grandparents whole house for about $200( if you do it yourself). This is a video of a man that built a system for about $250, it has 3 panels, 250 watts. Http:// here is a website that's been featured in Popular Mechanics, Popular Science. Http://
Hope this answers your questions. Let me know.

Ruth asks…

What happened to the 2002 promise of super efficient (up to 70%) solar cells using indium gallium nitride?

I knew I'd heard something about researchers developing new solar cells which will triple the output efficiency of solar panels. When I go online to research this…NOTHING since the initial discovery at Berkely in 2002. Did some oil company gobble it up?

ssadmin answers:


I'm not sure, this is the first I've heard of such a break through. Chances are it didn't work out -or- if it was a truly viable product, an energy company “invested” in the project and then shut it down for one reason or another.

LuLu, not sure that I like your opinion of our commander and chief but dang… You are a hottie!

LOL, watch me get lots of thumbs down for hitting on a previous poster when I'm supposed to be answering a question.

Richard asks…

Can anyone recommend solar cells and solar panels for a physics experiment?

I am doing a physics experiment where I need to compare the efficiency of the two. Solar panel for radiation>heat water and solar cells for radiation>electrical energy.

Can anyone recommend me some cells and panels which have lots of information about their performance, efficiency etc?

Many thanks!

ssadmin answers:

Go to the Maplin web side they have them for small experiments, if you want large ones do a search for manufacturers

good luck

Steven asks…

How many kWh does this solar panel use from this link?

There are a few solar panels from this link but they are stating things like $2.00 per watt and $1.00 per watt. I thought we rated by kWh. So if I use an average of $.12 kWh under normal utility companies, how much would i be paying if I bought panels from this site that had the 40% efficiency rating? Is it roughly $.40 kWh? Or is it less than that and I am not reading the article right?
Again, how much does it cost? If the average user in NV uses $.12 kWh than what is a solar panel equivalent to 40% efficiency like in the link i posted?

ssadmin answers:

To answer your specific questions, You buy power from the electric company in kW-hours, which is a unit of energy.

A 100 watt solar panel generates power at the rate of 100 watts. That means in 10 hours it will deliver energy equal to 100×10 = 1000 watt hours or 1 kW-hours.

“use an average of $.12 kWh” –– this makes no sense. KW-hour are not dollars. Perhaps you mean you PAY $0.12 PER kW-hour ? This makes sense.

40% means it converts 40% of the sun's energy into power, it has nothing to do with the cost of electricity from your power company.


Donna asks…

how to prepare homemade solar cells of high efficiency?

i am really interested in preparing a simple, homemade solar cell n in turn connecting them to form a panel. i also wanna bother about the cost. its gotcha be lower in cost and higher in efficiency.

ssadmin answers:

Unless you can get someone else to buy it for you, it's not going to be lower in cost. You can't really beat a commercial panel, unless it's a setup that doesn't have to last more than a short amount of time. For example, you could build a panel without glass, but it would quickly deteriorate when exposed to the elements.

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