Science Fair projects on solar energy

solar power cellular light-intensity
Time Required Quick (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Not One
Material Availability Niche electronic devices elements needed, see record for details
Expense Minimal ($20 - $50)
Safety No problems


Solar cells tend to be an alternative solution way for producing electrical energy directly from sunshine. With this particular project, you could get right down to the atomic degree and understand the world of solid-state electronics as you investigate how solar cells work. Your experiment will assess the effect of altering light-intensity on power production from solar mobile. A potential difference is always to explore the effect of changing along with of light.


The purpose of this test should regulate how alterations in incoming light intensity impact the result of solar panels.


Andrew Olson, PhD, Science Buddies

Edited by Ben Finio. PhD, Science friends


This task is founded on:

  • Corlett, N., 2003. "How Does the Intensity of Light Affect result of Solar Cells?, " California State Science Fair Abstract.
  • MLA Design

    Science Buddies Team. "How Exactly Does Solar Cell Result Differ with Incident Light-intensity?" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2016

    APA Design

    Science Buddies Team. (2015, October 13). Retrieved April 12, 2016 from

    Share your tale with Science Buddies!

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    Solar cells tend to be electronics that can transform light energy into an electrical current. Solar panels tend to be semiconductor products, which means that obtained properties which are intermediate between a conductor and an insulator. Whenever light for the right wavelength shines from the semiconductor product of a solar mobile, the light produces a flow of electrons. This can be referred to as photoelectric result. Little solar panels, just like the one used in this task, can be utilized in circuits to fee battery packs, power a calculator, or light an LED (light emitting diode).

    Energy effectiveness professional evaluating pumpsIn this project, you'll measure the open-circuit existing and short-circuit current from a solar cell. How do you think these values will change if you change the brightness of a light light bulb familiar with power the solar power cell?

    Terms and ideas

    To get this done task, you should do research that permits that comprehend the after terms and concepts:

  • Semiconductor
  • Solar power mobile (also called photovoltaic cellular)
  • Photoelectric effect
  • Led (LED)
  • Lumens (unit of light-intensity)
  • Voltage ()
  • Current ()
  • Opposition ()
  • Open-circuit voltage
  • Short-circuit present
  • Energy
  • Questions

  • How do solar cells turn light into electrical energy?
  • Bibliography

    This webpage is a great place to start for information about how solar cells work: Watch this NOVA video clip to find out more information regarding solar panels and other alternative energy sources: with this web page you can develop virtual circuits with battery packs and resistors, after that test your circuit by throwing a switch to light up a bulb. If there is too much current, the digital bulb blows up, too little present, together with bulb won't light. When you get the existing right, the light bulb glows brightly. These pages has actually many information regarding incandescent light bulbs: This webpage has of good use home elevators LEDs:


    Information Prey On This Topic

    Note: A computerized matching algorithm implies the aforementioned articles. It isn't as smart when you are, therefore may sometimes provide humorous, absurd, and on occasion even annoying outcomes! Learn more about the News Feed

    Products and Equipment

  • clamp-on lamp with reflector, ranked for at the very least 150 W light bulbs (available at your neighborhood hardware store),
  • At the least three light bulbs with different wattages (example. 50, 100, and 150 W).
  • Note: the suggested wattages tend to be for incandescent bulbs. If you buy compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, their actual wattages is going to be lower, nonetheless they will display an "equivalent" wattage regarding the package. While solar panels perform best with incandescent light bulbs (due to the spectral range of light emitted), for reasons of this technology task, you need to nevertheless be able to utilize CFL or LED bulbs.
  • solar energy systems engineer with cellDisclaimer: Science Buddies sporadically provides information (particularly part numbers, supplier brands, and provider weblinks) to aid our people in locating specialty products for specific jobs. The information is supplied entirely as a convenience to your users. We do our far better make sure component figures and descriptions are accurate when initially detailed. But since component figures do change as items tend to be obsoleted or enhanced, kindly send us a message in the event that you run across any parts which can be no more readily available. We in addition do our best to ensure any listed provider provides prompt, polite service. Science Buddies does participate in affiliate programs with, Carolina Biological, Jameco Electronics, and AquaPhoenix Knowledge. Proceeds from the affiliate programs help support Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) community charity. When you yourself have any comments (good or unfavorable) regarding acquisitions you have made for science fair jobs from recommendations on our web site, please write to us. Write to united states at . However, if you do not have expertise in assembling electrical circuits you might find it useful to have someone who can answer questions and help you troubleshoot in the event your project is certainly not working. A science instructor or mother or father could be a great resource. If you wish to find another mentor, try to find somebody who has hobbies like robotics, electronic devices, or building and repairing computers. You may also need certainly to work your path around this task by you start with an electronics project which has a diminished degree of difficulty.

    1. Create your test as shown in Figure 1.
      1. Establish the lamp a fixed height over the solar power mobile on a-flat surface. The distance does not matter so long as you ensure that is stays constant for the research (as an example, 30 cm).

    Figure 1. Experimental setup because of this task.
    1. Ready a data table inside laboratory laptop to record light bulb wattage, brightness in lumens (these details should-be available on the lamp package), open-circuit current, and short-circuit existing for solar mobile.
    2. Insert your lowest-wattage bulb in to the lamp.
    3. Simply take at least three readings regarding the open-circuit voltage regarding the solar power mobile and record them in your lab notebook.
    4. Take at the very least three readings associated with the short-circuit existing of this solar mobile and record them in your lab notebook.
    5. Insert your next highest-wattage bulb in to the lamp and perform measures 4–5.
    6. Perform steps 4–5 for every of continuing to be bulbs.
    7. Determine normal values for every single group of tracks inside data dining table.
    8. Make two scatter plots, one of open-circuit voltage vs. bulb brightness in lumens, and something of short-circuit current vs. light bulb brightness in lumens. How exactly does the solar cell production change as brightness regarding the light modifications? Does this suit your predictions?
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  • This project has actually you determine open-circuit current and short-circuit present, that are the maximum values the solar cell can supply. In fact, which the solar mobile is attached to a lot, each of those values will drop. Attach the solar mobile to a hard and fast load like a resistor, and duplicate the experiment. Calculate the ability output regarding the solar power cellular (power = existing × current, or P=IV) under load. How does the ability output modification with bulb brightness?
  • For more advanced pupils, can you devise a way to determine the interior opposition of this solar cellular? Could be the inner weight constant, or does it vary with incident light-intensity?
  • Test solar power cellular power production as a purpose of the perspective of the incoming light. Keep carefully the length and brightness regarding the source of light continual, but differ the perspective of this incoming light.
  • A more advanced level project concept should be to gauge the power result regarding the solar power mobile as a purpose of along with associated with the incoming light. You ought to do history research to learn just how light energy varies with wavelength (shade). You will have to know the spectral (color) characteristics of one's light source. That is why, it will be best if you utilize sunlight for this task. You could get a booklet with 100 shade filters for approximately $10 plus shipping. A search on "color filter booklet" should arrive numerous resources.
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