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Solar cell array having lattice or matrix structure and method of arranging solar cells and panels

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #6635817.

A solar cell array is provided having a lattice or matrix structure such that no two solar cell devices are connected purely in series or purely in parallel. Accordingly, if a single solar cell device fails, there is an alternate path by which the output power of all other solar cell devices may contribute to the total output power of the solar cell array. Also, the power output of the entire array is much less sensitive to a low voltage or current for a single solar cell device than in a conventional array where devices are connected in series and in parallel. Beneficially, current setting devices, such as resistors, are provided for better matching the voltages and currents within the array, although in some applications, the resistors can be eliminated, or set to zero. The lattice or matrix structures may be extended in one, two, and three-dimensional patterns.

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