Utilizing Photovoltaic Cells and Systems (9 Activities)

These nine projects allow students to set up their own investigations and manipulate the variables that influence photovoltaic cells. The projects can be easily integrated into a normal science classroom curriculum, or can be completed by students individually for science fair projects. All of the projects will fit easily into classroom lessons surrounding scientific inquiry and the scientific method. They will also help illustrate concepts in electricity, light and color, velocity and gravity, chemistry and polarity, and could even lead to social studies or social action projects. The activities are: What is the output of a PV cell? How does concentrating the sunlight affect the output from a solar cell? Does a tracking PV system collect more energy than a stationary system? How long does the sun spend behind clouds each day? How fast can a solar powered car go? Is it practical to store the energy produced from a PV cell in a tank of water? How does a PV cell respond to different wavelengths (colors) of light? Can sunlight be used to split the water molecule, producing hydrogen? Can an airplane be powered only by energy from the sun?

Related Topics:
1. Energy is a physical quantity that follows precise natural laws.
5. Energy decisions are influenced by economic, political, environmental, and social factors.

Associated Grade Levels:

Related Sub-Topics

1.1 Energy is a quantity that is transferred from system to system.

5.3 Energy decisions can be made using a systems-based approach.