Year 11 & 12 physics - Power requirements of a solar charging system

Lesson Overview

Year 11 & 12 physics - Power requirements of a solar charging system

This series of research activities explores the use of solar panels to charge and operate LED lights in the context of providing sustainable energy. Students are guided to measure input and output power of a solar charging system that can be used during sunlight hours as well as in dark conditions. The solar charger uses modern technologies including supercapacitors as an energy storage device. Students research the performance of the system to provide a sustainable supply of electrical energy for lighting multiple LEDs.

The design and construction of the solar charger is described in detail and it is recommended that this be prepared in advance of distribution to students. Soldering is required to ensure the integrity of the components in the system.

Assessment is left for the school to develop but there are opportunities for research and investigation instruments.

Key Concepts

  • Current, potential difference and energy flow
  • Photoelectric Effect

Queensland Curriculum Mapping

QCAA Senior Physics (v1.1 2019)

Unit 1 Thermal Nuclear and Electrical Physics

Topic 1.3: Electrical Circuits

In this topic students will:

  • Recall that electric charge can be positive or negative
  • Recall that electric current is carried by discrete charge carriers
  • Recall the law of conservation of charge
  • Recall that charge is conserved at all points in an electrical circuit
  • Define electric current, electrical potential difference in a circuit, and power

Unit 4 Revolutions in modern physics (Minor)

Topic 4.2: Quantum Theory

In this topic students will:

  • Describe the concept of a photon
  • Solve problems involving the energy, frequency and wavelength of a photon
  • Describe the photoelectric effect in terms of the photon
  • Recall that photons exhibit the characteristics of both waves and particles

ACS Codes