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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems

Lesson Description:
This unit introduces students to the concept of converting sunlight to electricity with photovoltaic cells. Students will familiarize themselves with these concepts through the reading passage, answering assessment questions, and by conducting a lab activity to determine the effect of several variables on the output of a photovoltaic cell. The follow up activity explores energy from the sun in terms of heat energy to expand on the concept of electricity generation.
Lesson Type:
  • Experiment
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
60 Minutes - Introduction and Reading Passage Science Vocabulary Reading 90 minutes 2 – Lab Activity – Testing PV Cells Science Mathematics 45 minutes
Materials Needed:
  • Copy of Reading Passage and Student Data Sheets for each student
  • An equipment kit for each group containing:
  • Small PVcell, at least0.5v output, or several PV cells in series 
  • several sheets of colored transparency film in various colors
  • 30 cm of thin electrical wire
  • DC ammeter
  • DC volt meter
  • Direct sunlight
  • Magnifying glass
  • Aluminum foil
  • Protractor
  • Ice in sealed plastic bag
  • Goggles  

School or Group:
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf No18 96-815B.pdf
Located in: Science

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