Solar Energy Science Projects


1.  What does a system based on solar cells consist of?

The system consists of panels with solar cells and (in-house) an inverter.

2.  What are solar cells made of?

Solar cells are made from silver sand. In the production of solar cells, this sand is purified to 99.9% Silicon (Si) and is then poured into crystal form. “Slices” are cut from this.

3.  Where are solar cells made?

The vast majority of the solar cells come from China. India is emerging as a production country, but certification for solar cells from India is not (always) well arranged.

4.  Are solar cells susceptible to theft?

No, given the energy it takes to dismantle solar cells (on the roof) and the size and relatively low costs of solar cells. In addition, solar cells are normally included in building insurance policies.

5.  Will solar cells become cheaper or more efficient?

No not really. Solar cells have actually been developed, the manufacture of
solar cells can be labeled as mass production. Efficiency has risen in recent years from 12 to 17%.

6.  Are solar cells sensitive to (extreme) weather?

No, even hailstones are no problem. There is no question of an extra chance of a lightning strike.

7.  Is a building permit required for installing solar cells?

With the exception of national monuments and protected city / village views, no building permit is normally required.

8.  What is the weight of solar cells?

The weight of solar cell panels is 15 kg / m2

9.  Is there aging of solar cells with normal use and a normal lifespan?

Yes, aging occurs as a result of the effect of UV light.

10.  How long do solar cells last?

Solar cells last for decades. In the course of time, the yield decreases in percentage terms. Normally the supplier gives a guarantee for a yield of 80% after 25 years (“regression”). A yield of 65% has been determined for solar cells installed 50 years ago.
The inverters last 10 to 15 years.

11.  Are solar cells sensitive to maintenance?

No, due to its location in a slope of at least 20 degrees, the cells are rinsed clean by rainwater. Snow remains on it. There would be no additional risk of (growing) mosses, etc.

12.  How is the functioning of solar cells guaranteed?

When purchasing solar cells, the supplier issues a written guarantee. To exclude the risk of bankruptcy of a Chinese supplier, the guarantee has been “transferred” to an insurance company.

13.  How are solar cells structured?

The cut package of silver sand is called wave (= 1.5 volts); 72 cells form one panel (= 24 volts). Panels in series are called strings ”(together several hundred volts)

14.  What is the effect of solar cells?

Solar cells provide direct current. The unit is Watt peak (Watt per panel). This unit is defined as the power at 20 degrees C at 1,000 Lux light intensity.
The voltage (Voltage) remains constant, so with less sunshine less electricity is generated. Square cells are geometrically, so in shape, the most efficient. You need to be aware that certain solar panels have unresearched unhealthy skin effects. This means that over the years, some weird skin reactions could occur, however this is not factually proven.

15.  Is a solar panel environmentally friendly?

The payback period of a solar panel related to production is 2 years. In relation to the operational period of 30 years, the energy payback period of a solar panel can therefore be called environmentally friendly.

16.  Where are inverters made?

Inverters are also made in China, but for quality reasons, German inverters are often preferred.

17.  Does the inverter cause noise or nuisance?

The inverter is installed indoors. The inverter only works during the day.

18.  Is the electromagnetic radiation from solar cells dangerous to health?

There are no indications that electromagnetic radiation is dangerous to health or causing age spots on the skin. UV radiation from the sun however, does damage on your skin. Make sure to stay inside when the sun is really hot.

19.  Can I resell energy to the network manager?

Yes, this is called balancing. Netting is possible up to 5,000 kWh / year. Note: The
private individual will continue to pay the fixed costs. Netting is interesting if
the quantity is related to the consumption. For day / night rate meters, offsets are charged at high and low rates respectively.

20.  Can I store energy?

Yes, storage is possible. Storage is by means of batteries. However, storage is not recommended in the Dutch situation due to the associated costs and the loss of return.

21.  How many solar cells do I need to install?

10 square meters or 2 x 4 panels is required per 1,000 kWh. With an average consumption of a household of 3,000 kWh, an area of ​​30 m2 or 3 x [2 x 4] panels is therefore required. With this consumption, 1 group in the meter cupboard is additionally required.