Solar cells and wind turbine Creative Commons, Attribution alone (BY)
Authors: Jožef Stefan Institute
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Renewable energy sources are sources that are captured from permanent natural processes, whereby the capture does not exhaust the source. Furthermore, renewable energy sources are environmentally more acceptable, as they produce very few adverse effects on the environment and cause no harmful emissions in electricity generation. Solar energy comes from the Sun in the form of solar radiation. Using photovoltaics or solar cells, solar energy may be transformed into electricity. In wind energy, electricity is generated with the help of wind and a wind turbine. A solar cell converts solar energy into electricity. The sunlight falling on a solar cell causes the movement of electrons in the cell, thus generating direct current. In wind energy, electricity is generated by wind, which turns a wind turbine, which in turn powers a generator that produces electricity. Windmills, however, have a few negative impacts, one of which is the noise they produce, which may also be disturbing for people, and they also pose a danger for birds. The shear extraction of solar and wind energy is very cheap, as the force of the wind and the Sun’s energy are free of charge. However, a relatively high initial investment is required to erect a solar or wind farm, while some costs should also be foreseen for maintenance. Both energy sources also have a few other weaknesses, particularly a relatively low utilisation rate and uncertainty (dependence on the Sun and wind or, rather, weather conditions). Within the scope of the exercise, you will learn about solar cells and how to make a wind turbine using recycled computer parts.
  45 min
Number of staff
Science Discipline
Education Level
12-18 years
Installation effort
No installation required on typical computer
Knowledge prerequisites
Classroom use
Home use
Supervision required
Parent (legal guardian supervision required
Teacher supervision required
Technical requirements
You'll need to buy some materials
Printed materials required

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