• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Photovoltaic cells case study

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Case Study For Solar Cells

Introduction

This case study describes what is, and how a solar cell works; it is a semiconductor device that converts the energy of sunlight into electric energy. It is also called photovoltaic cell.[¹] The semi conductive materials that undergo the photoelectric effect absorb photons and release free electrons to form an electric current. This process was first noted by Bequerel in 1839, and in 1905, Einstein described the nature of light and the photoelectric effect. Initially it was too expensive but since the energy crisis in 1970s photovoltaic technology has expanded in popularity as an alternative source of power.[²]                

Solar Cells Theory

Photovoltaic cells are made from semiconductors, for example silicon. A certain portion of the photons from

...read more.

Middle

The energy given to excite the electrons away has to be greater than the energy given to the electrons if they excite and then relax to return to their same position; so this extra energy generates a potential difference.[4] As silicon has 4 outer electrons in its last shell, it forms a crystalline structure, so spare electrons to flow in a current are not available. However when much energy is added it can cause electrons to break out of their bonds, creating free carriers, which travel randomly around the crystalline lattice until they can bond again. [³] One side of the cell is negative (possibly an impurity in silicon bonded with Phosphorus (5 outer electrons)- N-type), and one side is positive (possibly an impurity in silicon bonded with Boron (3 outer electrons)- P-type).
...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion

The Band Gap energy is the amount of energy needed to cause a free electron, however if more than the required amount is supplied, the energy is lost. By building a circuit with the solar cell as the power supply, connected with a voltmeter and ammeter, set by multimeters, a Variable resister will be connected to measure the internal resistance of a solar cell. The lamp will be held at a fixed distance, and any other external light will be blocked to ensure reliability. Finding the solar cell’s internal resistance can be used to find the electromotive force (E.m.f.); the gradient of the graph V/I would be the internal resistance of the solar cell.[8]

image01.png

[8]

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Electrical & Thermal Physics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Solar cells

    3 star(s)

    as shown below: The circle enclosing E and r represents that they are a single component. The current can be worked by connecting the battery to an external resistor. R and r are in series with each other, because the current I flows first through one and then through the

  2. Investigating the E.m.f and Internal Resistance of 2 cells on different circuit Structures.

    other physical factors of cell heating up and creating resistance and the fact the resistors could also have been faulty and below or above the stated value they were given by the manufacturer. Graph analysis The graph showed a relatively straight line which corresponded to my graph hypothesis for each circuit.

  1. Characteristics of a Photovoltaic Cell.

    The current created by the collected electrons passes electricity to a component such as a heater. Error! Not a valid filename. This diagram shows the simplified functioning of a Photovoltaic Cell. Note - there will be many layers of the specially treated semiconductor material.

  2. The potato - a source of EMF

    Apparatus: Used to: Potato Create a cell from which values of V and I can be taken. Copper sheet draw electrons from the potato cell Zinc sheet React with acid in the potato. 2 pairs of crocodile clips Connect the various components in the circuit.

  1. A comparison of the efficiencies of solar cells and solar panels

    x 100 Solar Panel: Below are diagrams to show how the experiment will be set up to measure the rate of heating of water by the bulb: Procedure: Set up the equipments as shown above.

  2. Choosing a light source

    is then reflected off a collimating mirror, which parallelizes the beam of light, before reaching the receiver. It forms several angles are all equal from the starting point (for every refracted light) they form a rainbow. (See below) An example of calculating the wavelength ()

  1. AimI am trying to find out how the current changes with the area of ...

    This will consist of:- * 30cm ruler * A Pen * Card * Lamp with 60watt bulb * Milliamp meter * Solar cell * Connecting wires x2 * Crocodile clips x2 SOLAR CELL MEASUREMENTS These are the following measurements of the solar cell i will be using in this experiment:-

  2. Physics Case Study Solar Electric Panels

    The electron-hole pair occurs when only a few electrons are in the conduction band in a material. When an electron leaves an atom, it breaks a covalent bond, leaving behind a positively charged ?hole? in a metallic lattice. An electron bordering this hole will move to fill it up, but also leaves a hole.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work