Most people will never actually consider buying an individual solar cell since most installations and solar kits come with completed solar panels. A solar cell is another name for a photovoltaic cell which is the building unit of a solar panel. It’s the fundamental unit that does the work to convert light into usable electricity.
Individual solar cells are bought by many people and wired subsequently to make solar panels. Companies selling solar panels often deal in batches of standalone solar cells as well. Nowadays there are a number of do-it-yourself solar kits available. Individual solar cells can even be used in the DIY kit to build a customized solar panel.
A number of companies sell individual solar cells. EBay is well known for selling regular as well as scrap solar cells. Often, chipped cells from used panels are sold by companies. Also, solar panels installed on highways often breakdown and individual solar cells are sold off by the highway authority to interested buyers. Often solar cells can be bought at a lower than usual price if a specified number of them are bought together.
Typically, the cost of a solar cell is designated as cost-per-watt. The price of a single solar cell can vary from about$4.00 to $15.00 depending on quality, material and manufacturer. A single cell produces an output of 0.5 volt and about 4watts. A standard household requires 2-5 kW of electricity. The price per watt of electricity comes to be around $5. Depending on your needs, you can buy individual cells to set up a solar panel.
Building your own solar panel from individual solar cells requires a basic knowledge of wiring and some materials from your local hardware shop. Do not do this unless you have some expertise in electricity and wiring.
See also: Used Solar Panels