Lesson 5 - 6

Explain solar energy transformation

Lesson Overview

Explain solar energy transformation

Throughout this lesson series students will explore the solar cell as a means of transforming solar energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy will be further transformed into mechanical energy that will provide the energy source for a solar powered car. Students will be challenged to design and build the solar car to meet performance criteria.

ACS Codes


Lesson Objectives

Students will:

  • Investigate energy transformations as solar energy is converted into motion.

Evidence of Learning

Can the student:

  • Identify the energy transfers and transformations occurring as a solar cell converts the sun’s energy into electricity and then in to movement of an electric motor.

Example Learning Sequence

  • Introduce solar energy as a form of energy.
  • Discuss solar energy as a form of kinetic energy.
  • Introduce solar cells as an energy transformer (convertor).
  • Provide solar cells, motors and meters for students to explore the factors that affect solar cell performance.
  • Relate solar cell performance to available light energy.