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Energy 101: Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

Department of Energy

This video, from the US Department of Energy, shows the basics of how a PV panel converts light radiated from the sun into usable power, whether on the electric grid or off, and without emissions or the use of fossil fuels.

Video length 2 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

About the Science

  • A very clear visual and verbal explanation of how a PV panel works. Discusses light as a photon.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The main message of the video is that PV systems generate power without pollution as they convert the sun's energy into electricity.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN


Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-PS3.D3:Solar cells are human-made devices that likewise capture the sun’s energy and produce electrical energy.

HS-PS4.B1:Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features.

HS-PS4.B3:Photoelectric materials emit electrons when they absorb light of a high-enough frequency

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