Why are Photovoltaic Cells Black?
The dark color reduces the amount of photons reflected. Photons that are not absorbed by the panel cannot be used to produce electricity.
What are Photovoltaic Cells Made From?
Silicon is the major material in the cells. Pure silicon crystals are poor conductors of electricity. Other elements are added to the silicon, such as, phosphorus and boron. When the energy from the sun hits the cell, the electrons in the elements begin to move around. The sun causes the panel to have a positive and negative side. This electrical difference causes electrons to flow through a diode.
What Factors Affect the Production of a Solar Cell?
The factors that most affect the production of a solar cells are the angle of the panel in relation to the sun, the peak wattage, the light intensity and the hours of sun exposure.
How is Wattage (or Power) Calculated?
The formula for power is Power=Current X Voltage. Power is measured in watts, current in amperes and voltage in volts.
The Solar Science Kit has a small motor, photovoltaic cell and disc that works well in demonstrating this in a classroom or home setting.