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Old 01-22-2009, 11:42 AM #1
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Default Question about solar panels and lasers...

Hey guys, my question is pretty simple. if I take a standard solar cell, and lets says I shined a red,green,or violet beam at it. Could it pick up a tiny bit of the power? and if so, could all three wavelengths be detected. Sounds alittle stupid but I have a interesting concept in the works....thanks for any input!


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Old 01-22-2009, 01:10 PM #2
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

i dunno but if the laser is powerful enough, it will certainly burn or damage your solar power cell. There are different types of solar cells; mono, poly-crystals, amorphous, etc.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:51 PM #3
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balisong
Hey guys, my question is pretty simple. if I take a standard solar cell, and lets says I shined a red,green,or violet beam at it. Could it pick up a tiny bit of the power? and if so, could all three wavelengths be detected. Sounds alittle stupid but I have a interesting concept in the works....thanks for any input!
Sure... it will detect the photons in the beam....
lf the laser's too powerful it will heat up the cell and could damage it.

Here is something that uses a similar approach....
but is only good for Green to IR wavelengths... :'(

http://www.bauer-electron.com/eby/ebayhlpm.htm

Jerry
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:57 PM #4
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

hey my three "D"cell maglite shows 150 mw on my kenometer weird huh
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:06 PM #5
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by john_lawson
hey my three "D"cell maglite shows 150 mw on my kenometer weird huh
No.... Not Weird..... :P

It is detecting the energy of the heat produced by the (visible light) photos
being absorbed by the sensor...
And depending on how close you are... as well as the direct heat (IR)
produced and radiated by the bulb it's self... *

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:19 PM #6
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Thermal sensors will usually pick up IR quite well. You might be able to get a response from a lighters flame held (carefully) in front of the sensor aperture as well, and if its really sensitive even the heat from your hand can be measured thermally.

Solar panels, on he other hand, are not thermal sensors. They will convert visible light to voltage and/or current, but not linearly, nor with a flat wavelength response. This non-linearity is a major problem: when you focus, say 100 mW to a 1cm or 0.5cm diameter circle, the measurement will likely be different, making it borderline useless.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:56 PM #7
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Im not looking to use anything above 10mW MAX. its just an idea im working on that would need a series of panels to absorb even just a tiny abount of energy to signal a motor to run of a seperate power source.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:00 PM #8
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

So you're trying to "turn on" a motor with a laser? I've thought about it myself, but I was going to use a photo-diode or an LED. Never got around to it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:04 PM #9
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon
So you're trying to "turn on" a motor with a laser? I've thought about it myself, but I was going to use a photo-diode or an LED. Never got around to it.

Yeah, its all apart of a larger project im working on. right now its sort of long and complicated.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:22 AM #10
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Yes this will work, however it would be best for you to use a difusser to spread the beam into more of a flood instead of a spot. Or change the focus so that your dot is really big. This will prevent damage to the cell as well as create more voltage.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:37 PM #11
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Kenom----> thanks for the additional info...this will def help me out!
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:45 AM #12
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Also, check the specs of those solar panels... red light could prove ineffective in generating any power in them. It depends on the actual makeup of the solar cells, but some work on rather specific bands of wavelengths only.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:58 PM #13
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Just had a good idea, why not have the laser power the solar panel which then powers the laser! Aha! But then again, you would lose most of the energy in the process....

Kenom is right, you would need a somewhat unfocused spot to prevent damage.

Apparently, UV Rays, IR rays and ' diffused light' are difficult to pick up by solar panels....


"Depending on construction the photovoltaic can cover a range of frequencies of light and can produce electricity from them, but sometimes cannot cover the entire solar spectrum (specifically, ultraviolet, infrared and low or diffused light)."

-Wikipedia


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Old 02-02-2009, 12:26 PM #14
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Default Re: Question about solar panels and lasers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geneticz
Just had a good idea, why not have the laser power the solar panel which then powers the laser! Aha! But then again, you would lose most of the energy in the process....

Kenom is right, you would need a somewhat unfocused spot to prevent damage.

Apparently, UV Rays, IR rays and ' diffused light' are difficult to pick up by solar panels....


"Depending on construction the photovoltaic can cover a range of frequencies of light and can produce electricity from them, but sometimes cannot cover the entire solar spectrum (specifically, ultraviolet, infrared and low or diffused light)."

-Wikipedia

Yeah, since most cells are terribly inefficient, I would'nt expect a power return to power something else. Like I said, I just have to have a measurable input to flip a switch for something. Thanks for the info though.
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