I am planning to buy a small solar panel where it is specified that it produces 6V and 100mAh. So does this means that the solar panel will produce 100mA in 1 hour or will it produce 100mA straight away as the sunlight hit the panel.

The panel size is 7 * 7 * 0.3 cm and it is made of polycrystalline.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth spending some time reading up on solar cells and the distinction between current vs current times time. Stack exchange sites are really meant for what is left after consulting references, not as a substitute for them. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2020 at 4:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would appear that both the dimension and the "100mAh" are typos, either in your question or in the seller's promotional materials. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2020 at 5:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ What kind of load will you be using it for? \$\endgroup\$
    – StarCat
    Nov 27, 2020 at 7:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Taken literally, it means that over the lifetime of the solar panel, it produces 100 mAh. Whether that's 100mA and it dies after 1 hour, or 1 mA and it dies after 100 hours, is anybody's guess. Practically, it's a garbage specification. Buy the product at your own risk. It may even produce 100 mA in full sunshine, hour after hour, for years. At 7 x 7 cm, producing 0.6W is reasonable but not great efficiency. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2020 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, solar panel specs are given for mostly Standard Test Conditions (i.e. under 1kW/m² sunlight intensity, at 25°C ambient temperature, etc).

it's specified that it produces 6V ...

This is probably the open-circuit (i.e. unloaded) voltage generated by the solar panel. This voltage is the maximum voltage that can be measured under STC.

... and 100mAh.

mAh is a unit of charge - \$\mathrm{Q = i \cdot t}\$ thus \$\mathrm{Coulomb = Ampere \cdot hour}\$ and is not a parameter for a solar panel. At least, for ones that I've seen If there's a solar panel with charge specification, please someone let me know. Instead, solar panels have short circuit current specification which indicates the maximum current that can be drawn under STC. So, the product that you are interested in has built-in battery-like storage (I don't think so) or there's a typo (Most likely).

PS: I agree with what @Chris says. Googling "how to read solar panel specs" can bring you lots of info.


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