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Energy 101: Solar 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.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific Strengths:
    - A good non-scientific introduction to the topic. Not much has changed since it was made, so still accurate.
    - The video is clear, interesting and has high production values
    - This resource ducks the hard-to-explain question of why the electrons flow in the direction they go to develop a voltage, instead of in both directions.
    - This resource was made before photovoltaics became and energy-significant (>1%) source of electricity in the U.S. and worldwide, so it is not actually optimistic enough about the potential.

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

More videos from the US Dept of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: http://www.energy.gov/eere/videos

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

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