Using LEDs to make a solar Panel.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by fabieville, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. fabieville

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 25, 2009
    There are some LEDs (light emitting diodes) that produces about 1.5VDC when you expose them to sunlight. I know the current rating of them is very small. I have never tested the current rating of them by shorting the leads i only tested how much voltage i get from them when they are exposed to light. I am assuming that the current rating is in the micro amp reading.
    I am wondering if there are any available with current rating in the milli-amp/amp stage when you shorts it?
    Because i am thinking that you could wire some in series to get say 18VDC then connect lots of the series strings in parallel to increase the current rating and then you would have a nice little panel at a really affordable price.
    What is your comment on this?
  2. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    The voltage isn't as high as you'd expect. The current is in the micro-amp range.

    The oldest solar cells are still better than an LED array.

    LEDs are basically good in detecting light of their own wavelength, and not the ideal device for that.
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    They make good photo-detectors, sensors in other words. Not too hot for harvesting energy.
  4. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    It might not surprise you but solar panels are basically based on the same technology as LEDs and photodiodes but they are much more refined to produce a lot of output current and reduce certain other characteristics like response speed which aren't critical for most energy harvesting applications.
  5. Audioguru

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 20, 2007
    Compare the huge size of a solar panel to the tiny chip inside an LED then you will understand why the current from an LED is almost nothing when it is exposed to light.
  6. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Forrest Mimms III had some interesting ideas for light wave communication using LEDs as both receivers and transmitters. He was pretty much ahead of his time.