solar cell

Solar cell
Solar cell – Photovoltaic effect on p-n junctions

solar cell – a device that converts light energy into electrical energy, specifically to capture energy from sunlight. The term photovoltaic cell is used when the light source is unspecified. This conversion is called the photovoltaic effect, and the field related to solar cells is known as photovoltaics.

  • photogeneration of charge carriers (electrons and holes) in a light-absorbing material
  • separation of the charge carriers to a conductive contact that will transmit the electricity.

What’s the problem?

Solar Cooler (video 4:15) keeps drinks cold using the sun instead of ice. Solar Cooler incorporates some advanced circuitry to collect solar energy from the photovoltaic cells on the lid, store it in the internal batteries, and then distribute it to the refrigeration system, all while taking up a relatively small amount of space.
Engineering ideas

  • circuit, photovoltaic, batteries, refrigeration, photogeneration, charge, energy, electrons, light absorbing, conductive, contact, transmission

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • Based on the information about the solar cooler, design other handy personal appliances that could be powered by solar power

Learn more…

  • self-cooling solar cells – a system where ordinary solar cells are given an extremely thin layer of specially patterned silica glass that is designed to draw heat away from the cells in a manner that requires no energy and exploits the atmosphere’s infrared window to shed the heat. The pattern consists of micro-pyramids and cones measuring only microns in thickness, which are sized and shaped to draw away heat in the form of infrared radiation to the top of the layer, where it radiates and disperses into the atmosphere.
  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Produced Without Iodine – Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a method by which iodine is replaced in copper-based, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) (also known as the Grätzel cell) with more abundant and less expensive cobalt.