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

ACSHE135 ACSIS139 ACSIS141 ACSIS145 ACSIS146 ACSIS147 ACSIS148 ACSSU155

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.