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Chemical and Solar Cells

Introduction to different sources of voltage.

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Planes have a Bright Future

It’s a Bird! It’s a Star! It’s a Plane?

Credit: nathanmac87
Source: http://flic.kr/p/7FMMJY
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

[Figure1]


Imagine if you were living 20 years from now, when airplane tickets are a fraction of the cost today.  Think about boarding a plane that didn’t need any jet fuel.  Does it seem outrageous?  Actually that future is closer than ever.  In 2013, two pilots flew a cross country trip across the United States on a solar-powered plane.  

Creative Applications

  1. Research online the inner workings of a solar cell.  How is sunlight converted into energy?
  2. How many cells were needed to power the plane?
  3. What are advantages and disadvantages of using all solar power?
  4. How do you think the plane can operate at night?  (Hint: think electric motors and batteries)

Resources

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-does-solar-power-work

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/solar-impulse-gallery/

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: nathanmac87; Source: http://flic.kr/p/7FMMJY; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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