Extracts from PV Investigation Worksheet


The following procedure enables you to:

  • Measure the maximum power Pmax that a photovoltaic (PV) cell can deliver to a resistive load under given conditions of illumination;
  • Calculate the maximum cell efficiency and the load resistance RLmax for maximum power output;
  • Measure short-circuit current ISC, open-circuit voltage VOC and calculate the fill factor FF;
  • See the variation of output power with time during the day as the sun moves across the sky and as the distance that the solar radiation has to travel through the atmosphere varies.


Fig. 1


  1. Connect the solar cell and meter as shown in fig.1 – at this stage leaving out a load resistor, RL.
  2. Illuminate the cell with your light source.




Related Resources


How a Solar Cell Works

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How much light do we need?

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Life Cycle Design of Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaic Modules

Publication investing energy payback time and electricity production efficiency of PV systems.


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