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Fundamentals of Solar

Energy, Innovation and Design
9, 10, 11, 12
Essential questions
How does a solar panel produce electricity?
What are the benefits and costs of solar energy?
How is a solar system different from a typical grid system?
How can solar energy systems can be modified to improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency?

The SEI Fundamentals of Solar unit is designed to develop students’ understanding of solar power. Students learn solar photovoltaic technology basics including the photoelectric effect and photovoltaic cells. They go on to learn about the benefits and challenges of solar power as well as the current state of the solar power industry. They are introduced to the components of a solar electric system, which leads students to explore the variables that impact solar power production. Finally, students conduct an experiment with miniature solar panels in order to identify best practices for maximizing solar power production. These lessons leave students with a comprehensive understanding of how and why solar energy is utilized as an essential renewable resource.

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