Engineering Question #8889

megan-india, a 15 year old female from pembroke dock asks on January 28, 2013,

Does the area of a solar cell affect the voltage produced?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on January 28, 2013

The answer is: no. From the FAQ page of this solar energy company

"The voltage output from a single crystalline solar cell is about 0.5V with an amperage output that is directly proportional to the cell’s surface area (approximately 7A for a 6 inch square multi-crystalline solar cell)."

So the voltage is constant at about 0.5V, but current (the number of electrons moving) increases as the area increases. Since power is a product of Voltage x Current, the bigger the area, the more power. But voltage stays the same. The way to increase voltage is to put a bunch of solar cells together in series. Normally 30 - 36 cells are wired together in series, giving a typical voltage of 12V.

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