I have recently purchased 108 3"X6" solar cells from ebay. I have tabbed the negative (front) side of every cell and made 4 columns of 9 cells in series so far. The voltage always comes out to approximately 0.5V/cell (varying light and temperature) and 0.03A (30mA)/cell.
The cells are rated as 0.5V and 3.6A , so I am wondering why my amperage has been reduced by a factor of about 100?
Originally I thought The columns of cells could have a problem with them but then I started testing individual cells and got the same current reading.
I have emailed the manufacturer and he asked about the quality of my multimeter, but I ahve tried both a fluke and radioshack multimeter to measure the current and there was no deviation in the value. The seller has very high positive feedback and seems legitimate ( fred480v). Does anyone else have any experience with cells from this buyer?
When I soldered the cells I made sure there was a good connection on all of them through visual inspection and a light tensile test, being careful not to damage the cells, but I did use high heat (570-630F), could this be destroying the cells?
When I measured the cells, I connected one wire from positive( back) and one from negative( front) to the multimeter. I also took readings with the two front wires connected at a node and the two back as a node because it seems as if this is the way they are wired in the end, but I obtained the same value.
Is this the right way to measure the current?
Thank you for your time and assistance.