Here’s an excerpt from an article in the March-April 2012 issue of “Backwoods Home Magazine” describing the latest developments in portable solar power.
Portable solar power
By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM
As the cost of solar cells has declined, the industry has started to increase the physical size of individual solar modules. This not only has reduced manufacturing costs, but, because of the larger modules, has also reduced the number of field wiring connections needed to install the same size system. This market trend has also increased the weight of each module and the size of the aluminum frames and heavy tempered glass.
Smaller wattage solar modules first manufactured during the 1980s for off-grid and battery charging applications, are becoming harder to find as manufacturers have rushed to supply the faster-growing market for larger residential and commercial systems. In addition, as module sizes have increased, the 12-volt DC nominal voltage (actually 16 to 17 volts) standard that was first used with smaller modules was too low to handle the higher wattage of these larger modules.
Read the whole article here: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago134.html
Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.