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Solar Energy as a source of Electricity

Solar energy is one of the cleanest sources of electricity. Solar panels operate by converting the sun’s energy into electricity that we can use. Sunlight is made of small particles called photons, which radiate from the sun.

According to physics.org, hen photons hit the Silicon atoms of the solar cell, they transfer their energy to loosen the electrons that they absorb, knocking them off the atoms. The photons can be compared to a white billiard ball, which passes its energy to the other balls on the table by making contact with them. The solar panel has to form the electrons into an electric current. This involves creating an electrical imbalance within the cell, which acts like a slope down so that all the electrons move in the same direction. Creating this imbalance is thank the organization of the silicon within the solar cell. They are arranged tightly around a certain structure, which results in the silicon being as effective as possible. As the photons smash the electrons of the silicon atoms, providing power to anything within reach of the solar panel, and when these materials are placed side by side, the n-type silicons spare electrons move over to fill the gaps in between the p-type silicon, this means the n-type becomes positively charged, and the p-type becomes negatively charged. This creates an electric field across the cell because silicon is a semiconductor, it can act like and that is how solar panels work. Our independent variable is changing the size of the solar panels and we are measuring how long the battery lasts, and our controlled variables include:

  • Same light power
  • Same time
  • Same amount of time to charge
  • All being placed in the same location
  • All lights being of the same size
  • All lights having the same software.
  • Solar panels are connected to the light in the same way.

In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect which is the system that explains how electricity can be produced by sunlight. He claimed that “shining light on an electrode submerged in an electric solution would create an electric current.” However, even after a lot of research and development focused on this discovery, photovoltaic power continued to be insufficient and solar cells were used mainly for measuring light power.

More than 100 years later, in 1941, Russell Ohl invented the solar cell, shortly after the invention of the solar transistor. According to energy matters, the photovoltaic method is rarely used due to there being much more oil and others substances.I expect the larger solar-powered light too last longer than the other lights due to the larger light collecting a larger amount of sunlight than the other lights and this also means that the light has more power to use before turning off. Our IV of changing the size of the solar panels of the lights should affect our DV of measuring the battery life of the lights.

This should affect our DV in many ways, I think that having a larger solar panel powering the light will help with battery life because if the solar panel receiving more energy from the sun due to the increased size of the panel and also having more energy to use on keeping the light on, and a smaller solar panel would not have as much storage and will not receive as much energy as a large solar panel, adn therefore, the largest solar panel should last longer due to the amount of power collected and amount of storage available and having more energy too spare.

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