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Solar Panel Investigation

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Introduction

Solar Panel Investigation Physics Coursework Introduction This investigation will involve finding out about the effectiveness of a solar panel by moving it further away from the light source. We will look to see how the voltage created from the light source is received by the panel at differing distances. The variable for this investigation will therefore be distance from the light source. To do this properly we will need controls set, we will keep everything else the same, and these will be the constants within the investigation. The intensity of the light, the angle the light meets the panel, and the area of solar panel exposed to the light will remain the same. We will be measuring the voltage converted from light energy by the solar panel at a variety of distances ranging from 0-100cm. We will be using the following apparatus: * Clamp stand * Light bulb * Voltmeter * Black paper * Clamp * Solar panel * Meter ruler * Wires * Power pack The apparatus will be set up as in the diagram below: We will be measuring the voltage over distances from 0cm to 1 metre, measuring at 10cm intervals. These values will allow us to plot a graph from which we can clearly analyse the results. ...read more.

Middle

I would therefore expect the graph for our results to look like this: Method. We will do our experiment in the following way: 2. Set up apparatus as in shown in the diagram 3. Once all the other groups have begun work place the solar panel in the middle of the paper and take a reading for the background light. 4. Place the panel directly in front of the light making sure that it is horizontal and perfectly straight before taking a measurement for the voltage at 0cm.and fill in the table. 5. Move the solar panel back 10cm checking accurately using the metre ruler running parallel to the black paper. Record the voltage and fill in the table. 6. Repeat step 4 until we have results for 0cm - 1 metre. 7. Once these results have been acquired repeat steps 3,4,5 twice more to get a second and third sets of results. With the results find a mean average for each distance so that they can then be plotted on a graph. Results Distance (in cm) Voltmeter reading (in volts) Voltmeter reading 2 (in volts) Voltmeter reading 3 (in volts) Average reading (in volts) 0 4.15 4.09 4.12 4.12 10 3.24 3.27 3.26 3.26(2dp) ...read more.

Conclusion

But also we may have rushed the experiment and not taken the time to let the voltmeter settle on the correct voltage, as it has a tendency to fluctuate across a range of values before stopping. Evaluation The experiment was conducted well and we managed to get a set of fairly accurate results from which we were able to draw reliable conclusions. But our experiment was flawed and could have been improved. Since there was more than just our group working in the room we really could have done with working alone in another separate room without any other interference from the lights of other groups. This would mean that there would be no background light and the results would be much more accurate. Another improvement we could have made would have been to use a more accurate voltmeter to measure the voltage to a greater degree of accuracy, and to increase the amount of readings taken at each interval, or even decrease the intervals to every 5cm. To extend this investigation further, we could use a different variable to the distance, instead, changing the light intensity of the bulb or the angle at which the light hits the solar panel. Overall the investigation went well, and we feel that the results we got were accurate enough for us to draw conclusions and prove the prediction correct. ...read more.

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