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Solar concentrators and how they affect the performance of solar cellsFeatured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that the use of a parabolic mirror will provide the highest power output from the solar cell, and that this is followed by using a flat mirror - is proven to be true. The parabolic reflector helps to direct the most amount of sunlight towards the solar cell thus enabling it to produce electricity more efficiently.

The use of solar, wind and water energy to produce electricity is called"clean" or"green" energy. This is because these sources of energy do not produce any harmful waste (such as carbon dioxide) and do not pose a threat to our environment.

Also consider

The experiment can be repeated indoors using fluorescent lighting.

Try to repeat the experiment indoors in an air conditioned room at different temperatures, and observe whether the change in temperature affects the output of the photovoltaic cells. 


  • How do solar panels work -
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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for experiment
Material availability:
Purchase solar cells from hobby engineering stores or from school science laboratory suppliers
Safety concerns:

Long hours of exposure to the sun may cause dizziness, dehydration or heat stroke. Make sure you drink an adequate amount of water and put on sunscreen. You should ensure that you protect yourself with an umbrella or wear a hat as you will be under the sun for a fair amount of time.