Creating a More Efficient Solar Panel

Driving Question: How can we create a more efficient solar cell? Is light a wave or a particle?

Synopsis: Students will construct photovoltaic cells using LEDs and experiment with them with the goal of making the overall cell more efficient.

Physical Science NYSSLS Standards: Students will
  • Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model (quantum theory), and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
  • Evaluate the validity and reliability of claims in published materials of the effects that different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation have when absorbed by matter.

OPT 110 Topics:

Sources of Light – the spectrum of light sources   
Our Understanding of Light – modern study    
Light in Technology and Industry – photoelectric effect, light and energy efficiency