The Effects of the Angle of a Light Source and the Presence of a Synthetic Cloud on Solar Energy Production

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which environment would allow a solar panel to produce the most voltage.  The environment consisted of the angle of a light source and the presence of a synthetic cloud.  Three angles (0°, 45°, and 90°) were tested with and without a synthetic cloud thirty times each.  The independent variables included the angle measurement and the presence or absence of a synthetic cloud.  The dependent variable was the voltage produced by the solar panel.  Data was collected by attaching a multi-meter to a solar panel, shining a light source on a solar panel at a specified angle, with or without a synthetic cloud, and recording the voltage production.  A graph of six box plots (0° with a cloud, 0° without a cloud, 45° with a cloud, 45° without a cloud, 90° with a cloud, and 90° without a cloud)  determined significance between all samples except the 0° with a cloud and the 0° without a cloud samples.  A 2-sample t-test was performed and determined significance between the 0° samples.  As hypothesized, a light source at an angle of 90° to the solar panel without the synthetic cloud production the greatest amount of voltage.

Research Done By:

George Basil
Sterling Heights High School

Emily Zumbrunnen
Fraser High School