Photovoltaic Cells

In  "Sulam Tsor" high school, like in other public institutions or agriculture farms which have large roofs, many solar panels are installed. Here is a picture of the school's gym hall   coverd with these solar panels.

 In Israel, almost every  private house or  apartment building roofs are provided with black panels, usually individuals or pairs. (like in this house)

 Is the role of solar panels installed on public buildings,  the same as those installed in private houses?

The answer is:  NO.

The black panels installed in pairs on home's roofs, are called solar collectors,  and are part of the water heater system. The roleof these solar collectors is to absorb sunlight (light energy), and convert it to heat energy used for heating water for domestic use.

The solar panels which are installed on tens (like in our school) are called photovoltaic cells, and their  function  is to convert light energy from the sun  into electrical energy.

Watch this movie to understand how the photovoltaic cell  works:

 This electrical energy can pass directly through a special converter   into various electrical devices at home: bathing water boiler, stove, computer, TV, washing machine etc; or switch to the IEC.


The solar panel is called photovoltaic cell and utilizes the photoelectric effect.

This effect also exists in elevators: the outgoing light beam from one side of the elevator door hits  the other side, violates the photocell installed there. Absorption of the light beam by the cell causes the closing of the elevator door

what is the main difference between solar collectors and photovoltaic cell?

0 People tried to answer this question

There is no difference. Both use the sun's light energy and convert it to other type of energy.
A solar collector converts light energy to heat energy. photovoltaic cells Converts light energy into electrical energy.
The solar collectors used for heating water only. The photovoltaic cells are only used to operate electrical devices.
Solar collectors are installed in pairs, photovoltaic cells are installed in numerous.

1.  Baburin Lera (2014-12-20 15:00:00)
colegue evaluation
Hi Ayala!
Your question is interesting and informative. It is connected to everiday life and relevant environmental issues.
I peresonaly didn`t know the difference between the two types of collecting solar energy, so thank you!
Also, the topic is strongly connected to the middle school science curriculum. 
I want to suggest two improvements. First, you need to check your grammar, there are some grammar mistakes in the question. In addition, I think that your question has a lot of potential to make pupils think. The students are not required to understand the scientific principles in order to unswer the question succesfully. They merly have to read the information. Instead of asking the difference, you could ask about the energy transformations in each devise. For example: if I want to heat water in an electrical kettle, in the sollary powered school - the energy is transformed 3 times (photons- electricity- heat). 
2.  Baburin Lera (2014-12-20 15:00:00)
The additional information layers
Regarding the additional information - I think the pictures are very good and helpful, and the movie is enriching and relevant. The point on the map makes the connection to the school you are writing about, and very good. 

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