Identifying the wavelength that generates the most voltage and current in a solar panel

(1) Merryhill School, (2) Rancho Milpitas Middle School
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Solar power is a potential solution for addressing climate change. There is limited research on how different wavelengths of light affect solar cells, and researchers have come to conflicting conclusions. Determining the most efficient wavelength of light would allow us to improve solar panel efficiency and make panels more cost-effective and desirable for adoption by the general public. A color filter is relatively inexpensive, and it can enhance the efficiency of a solar panel. Ultimately, it can help save the environment by (1) making solar panels as efficient as possible, (2) making society less dependent on fossil fuels, and (3) speeding up adoption of solar power. Therefore, this study focused on determining which wavelength of light generates the most voltage and current from a solar panel as measured by a Raspberry Pi coded to function as a multimeter. We measured the voltage and current that the solar panel generated in the absence or presence of different filters, which produce different wavelengths of light. Learning which, if any, color filter generates the most voltage and current can improve and promote solar power use. We determined that the yellow filter produced the greatest voltage and current compared to using a solar panel without a filter or a red, orange, green, blue, and purple color filter. Our results suggest that yellow color filters can enhance the voltage and current capabilities of solar panels. The findings offer a relatively low-cost solution to increasing the efficiency of solar panels.

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