The Solar Schoolhouse makes Solar Power Monitor Sets for hands-on explorations of solar power and electricity. This User Guide shows how to use & maintain this equipment, and includes a number of student exercises for developing an understanding of electrical theory and the photovoltaic effect.
The Solar Power Monitor is a Plexiglas circuit board with input ports for connecting solar modules, and output ports for attaching direct current loads. It has an ammeter and a voltmeter to simultaneously measure current and voltage. There are three DC loads (a light, fan and water pump) included in the set.
The Solar Power Monitor Set provides opportunities for qualitative and quantitative explorations to a wide variety of ages, grade and skill levels. For example, this equipment can be used with kindergarten classes to experience the photovoltaic effect directly (with sunlight powering the water pump) or with colleges and trade schools to plot photovoltaic IV curves that show the performance characteristics of solar modules.
[2015.09.23] current sets include 3V*1A solar modules using high efficiency all-back-contact solar cells from SunPower.