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Solar Trainer Set


Experiment 1:
Measuring the irradiation of different light sources

Information:

The different light sources can be distinguished mainly by the irradiation and the colour (wavelength) of the light. The wave length of visible light is in the range of 400 nm (blue) to 800 nm (red).

Sunlight for example is, due to its high share in blue light, much whiter than light from a bulb, which appears to be yellow due to its high share in red light.

Solar Trainer Package

Experiment 2:
Solar cell as a converter of energy

Information:

A Solar cell converts light energy to electrical energy.

Experiment 3:
The Solar cell as a converter of Energy/as Diode

Information:

Without being obscured by shadow, a solar cell will convert the maximum amount of energy possible with this setup. When the solar cell is obscured by shadow, it will lose its active role and behave like an ordinary diode with p-n junction.

A diode is an electronic semiconductor element whose conductivity depends on the current. This means the electrical current can only flow through the diode in one direction.

Solar Trainer Computer interface

Experiment 4:
The No-Load Voltage of a solar cell/Shading

Information:

Crystalline silicon solar cells consist of two layers of semiconductors with a positive and a negative charge. If light energy hits the cell, some photons are absorbed by the semiconductor. As a consequence, electrons are released from the negative layer and flow from the semiconductor to the positive layer via an external circuit ( see also figure for experiment 3, page 12).

Without any load, a voltage can be measured at the outer contacts, which is the no-load voltage U. How far does the no-load voltage depend on the irradiated solar cell surface?

Experiment 5:
The Short-Circuit of a solar Cell/shading

Information:

Crystalline silicon solar cells consist of two layers of semiconductors with a positive and a negative charge. If light energy hits the cell, some photons are absorbed by the semiconductor.

As a consequence, electrons are released from the negative layer and flow from the semiconductor to the positive layer via an external circuit. Without any load, a voltage can be measured at the outer contacts, which is the no-load voltage U, This is 0.5V. If the outer contacts are connected directly to a conductor, the maximum current possible will flow, the short circuit current I,.

 How far does the short circuit current depend on the irradiated solar cell surface?

Experiment 6:
The No-Load Voltage and the Short-Circuit Current with different irradiations

Information:

When using solar cells as converters of energy, the amount of irradiation is decisive. But this amount depends on the time of day, the season and the climate conditions.

How far do the no-load voltage and the short-circuit current depend on the amount of irradiation?

Experiment 7:
The Short-Circuit Current of a solar Cell with different Angles of irradiation

Information:

The angle of incidence of sunlight in relation to the earth keeps changing in the course of the day and year. Sunbeams hit the fixed solar cell in a different angle in the morning than at noon.

What is the relation between the angle of incidence of the light on the solar cell and the short-circuit current?

Experiment 8:
Series Connections of Solar Cells/Shading

Information:

Many electrical loads need a higher voltage than can be provided by a single solar cell with approx. 0.5 V. Therefore, several solar cells are connected in series.

What are the effects of a series connection of solar cells with regard to no-load voltage, short-circuit current and the effect of shading of solar cell?

Experiment 9:
Parallel connections of Solar Cells/Shading

Information:

Many electrical loads require a higher current than can be provided by a single solar cell. In order to achieve a higher current, several solar cells are connected in parallel.

What are the effects of a parallel connection of solar cells on the no-load voltage, the short-circuit current and the effect of shading a solar cell?

Experiment 10:
Voltage-Current Characteristic curve of a solar cell

Information:

If a load (load resistor) is connected to a solar cell, voltage and current will have particular values. How do voltage and current change with different loads (load resistor)?

Experiment 11:
Determination of the efficiency factor/MPP

Information:

From the current/voltage value pairs measured in experiment 10, page 19, one can calculate the electrical power P = U x I (Note: 1V x 1A = 1 W and 1mV x 1mA = 0.001mW)

How great must the load resistance be for maximum power consumption from the solar cell?

Experiment 12:
Simulation of a daily course

Information:

The angle of the sunlight hitting a fixed solar cell keeps changing from sunrise to sunset. Depending on the location (latitude) of the solar cell, the angle also depends on the time of year.

Therefore, the alignment according to orientation on one side and the horizontal tilt angle are decisive for the possible maximum energy yield. Since the sun’s orbit, as seen from the earth, keeps changing from day to day for a location in Europe, it is important to find the alignment of the solar cell that yields the maximum amount of energy all year through.

Experiment 13:
Charging of a GoldCap Capacitor/ Accumulator with a Solar cell

Information:

A solar cell provides electrical energy only when it is irradiated. If a load is to be operated in darkness, a part of the electrical energy converted during irradiation must be stored. This is usually done with the help of an accumulator or – for loads with a very low energy demand – a “Gold Cap” capacitor.

Experiment 14:
Discharging of a GoldCap Capacitor/Accumulator

Information:

How does a “GoldCap” capacitor behave when a load is applied to it?

Experiment 15:
Setting up an isolated system

Information:

If a solar cell is connected to an energy storage element and a load, one obtains an isolated system in its simplest form. Depending on irradiation, state of charge of the storage element and operation of the load, different current flows and current strengths are produced in the system.

Experiment 16:
PC-supported Recording of measured Values: Voltage-Current Characteristic curve of a solar cell

Information:

PC – supported measurement technology makes it possible to display the diagram obtained in experiment 10 directly on the screen through loading and processing of the data. Please read first the instruction on experiment 10 on page 19.

Experiment 17:
PC-supported Recording of measured Values: Conversion of Direct Current to Alternating Current

Information:

A solar cell as energy source produces direct current. Many loads, however, require a 230V alternating current for their operation.

Therefore an inverter is required to operate an alternating current load with energy from solar cells. Such an inverter can, for example, convert 12V direct current to 230V alternating current.

For isolated systems and low power rates, inverters with rectangular alternating current are sometimes used (cost-efficient), for higher power rates or sensitive loads, one uses inverters with sinusoidal alternating current. 

For bigger plants, the current is fed into the public power supply network via an inverter with equal voltage and frequency (Grid-connected operation)

Experiment 18:
PC-supported Recording of Measured Values: Charging of a GoldCap Capacitor/Battery

Information:

PC-supported measurement technology makes it possible to display the diagram obtained in experiments 13 and 14 directly on the screen through loading and processing of the data via PC. Please read first the instruction on experiments 13 and 14 on pages 22-23.

 
 
 
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