Solar Panel Lab Activities


1. Solar Panel Properties



In this lab, Ohm's Law will be discussed and experimented with. Students will use a solar panel and resistor box to learn Ohm's Law. Students will also plot the Current vs Voltage plot of the solar panels. In the analysis the effects of the load resistance will be demonstrated for the solar panel's power output.


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2. Regulated vs Unregulated Power



In this lab, regulated DC power will be compared to unregulated DC power to show the importance of regulated power in grid settings. Students will use a solar panel, DC powered fan, and a DC-DC power converter to learn about regulated power supplies. The changes in the solar panel energy output will be visible to students by the fan speed changing. The DC-DC converter will then be used to show the constant power output from the regulator. The power regulator low voltage shutoff will also be investigated in the laboratory to demonstrate electrical brown-out protection.


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3. Efficiency of Converters



In this lab, the electrical efficiency of a DC converter will be found to show to importance of proper DC electrical converters. Students will use a solar panel, DC-DC converter and resistor box to find the electrical efficiency of the DC-DC converter. In the laboratory students will measure the input and output power of the DC-DC converter and vary the resistance of the resistor box. In the analysis students will calculate the energy efficiency of the converter used in the laboratory.


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