Effect of Focus Area, Temperature and Intensity on the Electrical Output of a Solar Cell

The experiment was a 3 factor DOE which determined what effect intensity, temperature, and focus area had on a solar cell. To test these factors a solar cell was placed in a box and the three factors were changed. Focus area was changed by adjusting a magnifying glass between the light source and the solar cell which focuses the light. Intensity differs through changing the wattage of the light bulb. In order to change temperature we placed the box in a cold environment (outside air) and in a warm environment (placing a hair drier in the box). The results showed that temperature had the greatest effect of the single factor and the intensity also had a significant effect. The focus area and intensity had the greatest effect between the interactions of the three variables. The results show that the ideal conditions for a solar cell to create the most electricity is when the temperature of the environment is low, the intensity of light is high and focus area of the light is low. The results of this experiment can be used to create solar cells that have maximum efficiency, converting the most electricity from the sun. The more efficient the solar cell is the more cost effective it will be and so could become more commercially used.

Research Done By:

William Jones
Sterling Heights High School

Lauren Weiss
Sterling Heights High School