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How solar cells are affected by their operating temperaturesFeatured science projectScience project video

Conclusion

The hypothesis that the power output of solar cell will be lower at higher temperatures is proven to be true.

Solar cells lose their efficiency at higher temperatures. Therefore sufficient gaps for air ventilation are necessary to keep the operating temperatures of these cells within acceptable limits. Water and fans can be used to cool the solar cells.

Also consider

The experiment can be repeated by using water to cool the solar cell.

Try to repeat the experiment using amorphous solar cells. What if the cells are cooled below freezing temperatures? How would your results differ? 

References

  • Effect of temperature on solar panels - http://www.reuk.co.uk/Effect-of-Temperature-on-Solar-Panels.htm
  • How do solar panels work - http://www.glrea.org/articles/howDoSolarPanelsWork.html
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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
120
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 hour for experiment
Material availability:
Solar cells may be purchased from a hobby store
Safety concerns:

Heat stroke, sunstroke, dehydration - be careful when working under the sun and have an adult supervise your experiment