Variables Affecting Solar Power

Determine the best energy generator. Groups play with a photovoltaic cell to determine the variables that affect its energy output. The teams investigate a variable to determine the optimum performance of the solar cell. Pupils compare the wind turbine designed in the previous lesson plan to the solar cell in the final lesson plan in the six-lesson plan unit on solar versus wind energy.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Research to find the angle that the sun shines locally to use as an initial angle to begin
Classroom Considerations
  • Assumes knowledge of circuits and how a photovoltaic cell generates electricity
  • Requires a variety of photovoltaic cells and lights
Pros
  • Provides a data sheet to record results
  • Includes a list of materials needed to test a variety of variables
Cons
  • None
Common Core