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

Physics Case Study Solar Electric Panels

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Physics Case Study – Solar Electric Panels

The case study is the physics of solar electric panels and how they work. I am going to discuss the process in which these panels operate and their implications to society and their benefits and risks.

The physics of solar panel cells

How light interacts with the solar cells

When light hits a solar panel, the solar panel material can reflect, transmit or absorb the light. When light does the latter of the three options, energy is transferred from the photons that make up light into the atoms of the material. If the energy of the photon, determined by the frequency, is higher than a specific level, it will cause an electron-hole pair. The process is known as the photoelectric effect.  The specific energy level that is required signifies the ‘band gap’ between the valence and the conduction band. These bands are ranges of energy levels in which electrons rest at when under no excitation.

...read more.

Middle

Figure 2. Diagram to show n-p junction[2]

image00.png

How light creates electricity

When a photon of light creates an electron-hole pair on the n-type semiconductor, and it moves to the space charge region, the electron will diffuse to the p-type semiconductor. By creating an external link from the p-type to the n-type semiconductors, the electric field will move the electron back to the n-type side to join back with the positive hole. The energy the electric field exerted to move the electron from the p-type side to the n-type side is the work done, and the movement of the charge is a current.

Implications to society

By

...read more.

Conclusion

Practical investigation

I will be investigating the internal resistance of a solar cell to theoretically predict the maximum power output of the solar cell. By finding the internal resistance, I can match the internal resistance with the resistance of the external load for maximum power output. By doing so, I can theoretically find the efficiency of the solar cell.

By Jonathan Gee


Bibliography

  • Edexcel AS Physics Students’ Book
  • Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cell, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_solar_cells, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-n_junction
  • Howstuffworks - http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/solar-cell.htm
  • My teacher – The Boswells School

[1] Taken from Edexcel AS Physics Students’ Book

[2] Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-n_junction

[3] Taken from background information given from teacher

...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. Physics - How Electric Eels Generate and Use Electricity.

    But if the eel is going to shock the water and the prey the eel has to be electrically open to current going out and returning. As seen from the diagram above you can see that the eels main vital organs are in the head.

  2. To investigate the effects of two different variables on a solar cell output.

    To investigate this variable would be very difficult, because it is very hard to know the frequency and wavelength of a certain colour of light without using extremely expensive and sensitive equipment, which I do not have available. Therefore, I will not investigate this variable, and keep it to a

  1. How does changing the distance from a light source affect the power output of ...

    Difference / V � 0.02V Current / mA � 2mA Current / A � 0.002A Ave Power/W (Pd / V * Current / A) Error (from standard deviation) 1 0.52 74 0.076 1 0.50 74 0.072 1 0.51 72 0.078 1 0.51 74 0.074 1 0.51 72 0.074 Average 0.512

  2. Free essay

    Finding the internal resistance of a solar cell

    This is because as the resistance of the load changes the voltage and current of the circuit change but the internal resistance doesn't so the precision of the experiment will be increased because of the increased range of readings. The conditions that vary are the external light source level of

  1. The aim of the experiment is to verify the maximum power theorem and investigate ...

    Results & Calculations Reading taken before the block begins to move: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Reading of spring balance (� 0.05 N) 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 Reading taken after the block is moving: 8 9 10 11 12 Reading of spring balance (� 0.05 N)

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

    = Current (A) x Voltage (V) To measure the power output, plot a graph of voltage against 1/current and measure the gradient of the best fit line. I used my preliminary results to draw a graph and to measure the power output. Equation of graph: y = 0.001x - 1.7657 Gradient = Power

  1. Investigate the effects of two different variables on a solar cell output.

    Below, I have analysed all the variables that could be investigated, and evaluated which one I will investigate. Variable 1: Light Light can have different colours, and different coloured lights are known to have different frequencies. This in turn would cause the different coloured lights to emit different levels of power.

  2. Power Output of a Solar Cell

    A small solar cell will be used in the experiment. Method The centre of the solar cell will always be placed 35cm away from the centre of the bulb. The resistance box and digital meter set to read the current will be placed in series with the solar cell.

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