P2

Collecting Energy from the Sun - Photocells

  • The sun is a stable source of energy that transfers energy to Earth as light and heat which can be captured and used to produce electricity. Renewable (doesnt run out)    

Photocells                                                                                                                        *They capture light energy from sun on flat silicon surfaces which is then transformed into an electric current that travels in the same direction at all times, called a Direct Current (DC).         *Power output of a photocell depends on the surface area exposed to sunlight, lots of photocells join together as a solar panel to increase surface area, increasing amount of light captured.

Advantages - use renewable energy, no fuel, no pollution, no waste, long life, little maintenance. Disadvantages - no power at night or during bad weather, expensive to buy, take up space.

The power output depends on:                                                                                             *the surface area exposed to light                                                                                       *the intensity of a light                                                                                                       *the distance between the light source (sun) and the photocell                                                           

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