Can I install a solar panel in a window?

Hi, this is Amy from the altE Store. We’re sometimes asked if you can install solar
panels inside, inside some bright sunny windows. So I’m going to show you what kind of results
you’d get if you do that. Now I’ve got a nice bright sunny window, south
facing, it’s right around noon. Perfect scenario here. So we’re going to do some measurements and
show what you’ve got. So first thing I’m going to do is I’ve got
an insolation meter. So this will actually measure the intensity
of the sun. So I’m going to hold it right up to the window. And I’m getting right about 330 watts per
square meter. Now the standard test conditions that solar
panels are measured at is 1000 watts, this is reading about 1/3 of it. So, what is this going to give us for actual
readings from the solar panel? Well open circuit voltage of this panel is
22.3V, so let’s measure the open circuit voltage. So I’m measuring with the volt meter right
across the plus and minus, and I’m reading 20 volts.

 

That’s not bad. So you might think, hey, this is working pretty
good. But, let’s measure the current now, because
current is really more affected by the intensity of the sun than voltage is. So if I switch my multimeter over to measure
current… The short circuit current of this solar panel
is 1.82A, when I’ve got this connected, I’m reading .55A. So I’m really not reading a whole bunch, I’m
reading right about 1/3 of what the standard test conditions would be. OK, now I’ve moved it so it’s just out of
the direct beam of the sunlight, so we are still in a nice bright sunny room, but the
sun isn’t shining directly on it.

 

And my insolation meter is reading about 18W
per square meter, as opposed to 1000. So let’s do some measurements here. I’ve got 17V. Meh, it’s not the end of the world. Well, let’s pop over to amps and see what
we’ve got… Haha, .03 amps. So, unless this is in the absolute direct
beam of the sun, you’re just, it’s not going to be doing anything. So, I think that really shows you the futility
of trying to make solar in a bright room. OK, so we’re just outside that window, so
let’s do the exact same measurements. I’m using my insolation meter and I’m pointing
at the sun, and I’m getting about 950 watts per square meter. So that’s pretty close to standard test condition,
pretty darn good. Now let’s actually measure the output of the
solar panel.

 

 

So I’m reading 20.8V, which, you know that’s
really not that much higher than it was inside. But, where it really makes a big difference
is the current. So let’s switch this over to amps, and we’ll
see what we’ve got there. So when I switch over to amps, I’m at .8 amps. And it’s kind of fluctuating a little as the
intensity changes, but this shows you that you really do get dramatically more power
out here. Now another advantage of being outside is,
when the sun was over in the east, I was still getting some power here. Inside, I was getting nothing, at all. Because you are really only getting the sun
coming in the window when it’s right in front of it. Se even though I’m getting a little bit of
power when the sun is directly in front of the window, if I had that installed earlier,
I’d be reading nothing.

 

So, really shows you that while you can get
a tiny bit of power out of it inside the window, it’s not really going to be enough to make
it worth while. So, I hope this was helpful, if so, give us
a like and a share. And be sure to subscribe to our alteStore
channel, so we can notify you when we’ve got new videos. And check out our website at altEstore.com,
where we’ve been making renewable do-able since 1999..

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