Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Materials Needed

Materials and Equipment 

  • 9V batteries (4)
  • 22-gauge electrical wire
  • Alligator clips (12)
  • Wire cutters and strippers
  • Breadboard, about 3" x 2"
  • 10K Ohm resistor
  • Voltmeter/Multimeter (must be able to read 10 millivolts)
  • Coke
  • Cup or jar that the nickel metal strips can completely fit inside (1); must be taller than 5 inches.
  • 250 mL beaker
  • Small Styrofoam block
  • Nickel metal strips (2); strips should be approximately 5 inches tall and ¾ inch wide.
  • Ruler
  • 0.1 M phosphate buffer solution, pH 7.0 (500ml)
    • This buffer should contain 2.63 g monopotassium phosphate (KH₂PO₄) (FW 136.09 g/mol) and 4.35 g sodium phosphate (Na₂HPO₄) (FW 141.96 g/mol) (to lower the pH to 7.0) and brought to 500 mL using deionized (DI) water for a total phosphate concentration of 0.1 M.
  • Magnetic stir plate and stir bar (1) 
  • Pair of disposable gloves
  • Metal scoop for chemicals
  • Cobalt Nitrate (10 g)
  • Clock or stopwatch
  • Lab notebook
  • Electrical Magnetic Stirrer

Vijay-Literature review

The sun's light (and all light) contains energy. Usually, when light hits an object the energy turns into heat, like the warmth you feel while sitting in the sun. But when light hits certain materials the energy turns into an electrical current instead, which we can then harness for power.
Old-school solar technology uses large crystals made out of silicon, which produces an electrical current when struck by light. Silicon can do this because the electrons in the crystal get up and move when exposed to light instead of just jiggling in place to make heat. The silicon turns a good portion of light energy into electricity, but it is expensive because big crystals are hard to grow.Newer materials use smaller, cheaper crystals, such as copper-indium-gallium-selenide, that can be shaped into flexible films. This "thin-film" solar technology, however, is not as good as silicon at turning light into electricity.This is an on going problem of making the solar panels cost efficient .

source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-solar-power-work/

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Literature Review Done By Karthik


Solar energy has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years due to both technological improvements resulting in cost reductions and government policies supportive of renewable energy development and utilization. This study analyzes the technical, economic and policy aspects of solar energy development and deployment. While the cost of solar energy has declined rapidly in the recent past, it still remains much higher than the cost of conventional energy technologies.
Like other renewable energy technologies, solar energy benefits from fiscal and regulatory incentives and mandates, including tax credits and exemptions, feed- in-tariff, preferential interest rates, renewable portfolio standards and voluntary green power programs in
many countries. Potential expansion of carbon credit markets also would provide additional incentives to solar energy deployment; however, the scale of incentives provided by the existing carbon market instruments, such as the Clean Development Mechanism of the
Kyoto Protocol, is limited. Despite the huge technical potential, development and large-scale, market-driven deployment of solar energy technologies world-wide still has to overcome a number of technical and financial barriers. Unless these barriers are overcome, maintaining and increasing electricity supplies from solar energy will require continuation of potentially costly policy supports. 


Source:elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/pdf/10.1596/1813-9450-5845 ( A Review Of Solar Energy)

Literature Review- Nicholas

-Solar (or photovoltaic) cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Sunlight is composed of miniscule particles called photons, which radiate from the sun. As these hit the silicon atoms of the solar cell, they transfer their energy to loose electrons, knocking them clean off the atoms. The photons could be compared to the white ball in a game of pool, which passes on its energy to the coloured balls it strikes. Freeing up electrons is however only half the work of a solar cell: it then needs to herd these stray electrons into an electric current. This involves creating an electrical imbalance within the cell, which acts a bit like a slope down which the electrons will flow in the same direction.

Source: http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=51



-In most solar systems, solar panels are placed on the roof. An ideal site will have no shade on the panels, especially during the prime sunlight hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; a south-facing installation will usually provide the optimum potential for your system, but other orientations may provide sufficient production. Trees or other factors that cause shading during the day will cause significant decreases to power production. The importance of shading and efficiency cannot be overstated. In a solar panel, if even just one of its 36 cells is shaded, power production will be reduced by more than half. Experienced installation contractors such as NW Wind & Solar use a device called a Solar Pathfinder to carefully identify potential areas of shading prior to installation. In a solar electric system that is also tied to the utility grid, the DC power from the solar array is converted into 120/240 volt AC power and fed directly into the utility power distribution system of the building. The power is “net metered,” which means it reduces demand for power from the utility when the solar array is generating electricity – thus lowering the utility bill. These grid-tied systems automatically shut off if utility power goes offline, protecting workers from power being back fed into the grid during an outage. These types of solar-powered electric systems are known as “on grid” or “battery-less” and make up approximately 98% of the solar power systems being installed today.

Source: http://www.nwwindandsolar.com/solar-power-in-seattle-and-the-northwest/how-do-solar-systems-produce-energy/

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Narrowing Down To Our Research Topic

We have brainstormed and have narrowed down to our research topic.

How can we get electricity produced by solar cells when the sun is not shining?

(Examine water's usefulness as a renewable energy source by observing how efficient a cobalt-based catalyst can be at helping to form molecular oxygen.)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

ISS Project Ideas



Brainstorming For Our Research Topic

We have brainstormed and have come up with a few ideas.

- Solar Powered Cars

-Hydraulics

- Arduino Related Projects

-Comparison Of Drinks

-Rocket Science


-How Do Food Preservatives Affect the Growth of Microorganisms?