How to Measure Output of Solar Modules

Sunlight Incident Angle
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Learning Goal(s):

Students will demonstrate that solar modules create electricity when light strikes the module. Students will determine the optimum angle for the generation of current by a solar cell when given a light source (indoors or outdoors using the sun). Students will be able to effectively use a digital multimeter to measure current and voltage produced by a solar cell.

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Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Students will measure output from solar module before a load is attached and relate it to real world output. They will make these measurements using a multimeter and be able to determine the optimal angle at which their module generates a current flow. This process is meant to reveal to students some of the design challenges associated with the usage of photovoltaics, whether it is on top of a house or whether it is on a vehicle such as the solar boat they will be designing. This will facilitate a discussion of the pros and cons of solar modules. This lesson is suitable as a stand-alone lesson.

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
2-Volt, 500mA Solar Modules
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