Shadows and solar cells
You can print the teacher guide without teacher hints or with teacher hints.
What influences does shadows have on solar cells and how can you circumvent these problems?
What you need
- 2 solar cells (e.g.: OPV School Set)
- 2 diodes
- Wires with banana plugs and crocodile clamps
- Light source (projector lamp or the sun)
- Cardboard to create shade for the solar cells
A solar cell mounted outdoor is exposed to many things, including changing light conditions with shadows over some of the cells. In addition, the solar cells can be covered by leaves or brid droppings, which also leave some of the cells in shadow. These shadows naturally lead to a decrease in productivity as less light hits the cells. But it's not the only thing that happens when some cells are left in shadow. In this experiment we will look at the consequences as well as a possible solution.
Connect the two solar cells in series and measure the current with an ammeter as shown. Turn on the lighting. Record the power. Now try to shade for one of the solar cells. What happens to the power?
Make the setup as shown in Figure 3. Unlike experiment 1, two diodes are now connected to the system. Try again to measure the power without shadow and then with a solar cell in shade. What is the difference compared to before?
What influence do the diodes have on the circuit and how does the current flow in the circuit?
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