I am currently searching for a proper solar cell to power an IoT device (just a simple logging device). Although it is just for my own usage, the sensor should be properly engineered.

My main requirements are the proper size and type of the panel. The size comes from the desired max. size of the PCB and the type (indoor/outdoor) is yet to be chosen.

The sensors will be used mainly outdoors, which is why I wanted to use an outdoor cell. Unfortunately, the standard sizes of the indoor cells provided by the manufacturer fit much better than the outdoors cell dimensions (as a private person I of course want to get away with a standard article, that can be simply ordered by e.g. mouser or digikey and no custom solution). 3

So, since I have only found an indoor cell that fits well regarding the form factor, I am investigations any reasons, on why I should NOT just use an indoor cell.

Towards this way, I found 1, and 2. The answers provided more or less all say that the relevant difference will be durability (UV and water resistivity etc.).

I am not convinced yet - especially since the datasheet 3, the section for the indoor panel explicitely states: "(Since Amorton is designed for indoors use, please it under 1,000 lux.)". Now, that rather clearly suggests to NOT use indoor panels outdoors, because outdoor light levels will be much bigger in any case.

Can anyone tell me, why higher light levels are a problem or even critical for the indoor panels?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you ever noticed how cheap plastic materials warp in direct sunlight? In sustained sunlight they crack or become brittle and fade. These are all good reasons not to use indoor units outside. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 3, 2020 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1,000 lux is far away from "sustained sunlight", though.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Junius
    Jul 3, 2020 at 14:56


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