A basic solar panel test.

Here is a basic voltage and current test I did with a “garden” solar panel. The result shows that the voltage remains farily constant in various lighting conditions, but the current can change widely. The voltage is fairly constant since it is set by the physical construction, specifically the “diode junction/boundary” of the two semiconductor materials. Most solar cells only have a voltage of about 0.5 volts. To increase voltage you can connect them in series: positive to negative to …

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  1. #1 by trailkeeper at September 21st, 2008

    I realize I may have been in error with how I did some of the measurements, I’ll try to redo some, but overall its still a good vid. that shows how the voltage is fairly constant regarless of light conditions, and the current can vary widely as the light conditions change.

  2. #2 by trailkeeper at September 21st, 2008

    Due to time limit I could not hold the lens over the cell too long, but the heat will cause the solar cell to produce less current eventually, unless the cells are cooled somehow.

  3. #3 by zabbygail at November 2nd, 2008

    dont get it

  4. #4 by trailkeeper at November 2nd, 2008

    I have some text notes there you can read also. Basically, the main point of the vid was about that you can take a small solar panel and focus a large area of light on it (with the lens) to effectively make that small solar panel equivalent to a larger one. But you should not focus the light from the lens into a small area since it will get too hot and damage the solar panel. The only problem with the lens is that it must track the sun to be usfull, and without the lens it’s less of a problem.

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