Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Introduction to the Vernier Energy Sensor

Figure from experiment 3 from Investigating Solar Energy


When sunlight hits a solar panel, the energy of the sun is transferred to the electrons that make up the solar panel. This causes the electrons to start moving through the wires connected to the panel. In this experiment, you will use a Vernier Energy Sensor to measure the electrons as they move. Three values are used to measure the movement of electrons: current, potential difference, and power.


  • Set up the data-collection equipment.
  • Measure current, potential difference (voltage), and power output of a Solar Panel with a Vernier Energy Sensor.
  • Use data-collection software to calculate mean (average) values.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Investigating Solar Energy

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Introduction to Solar Panels
2Exploring Solar Energy
3Introduction to the Vernier Energy Sensor
4Making Connections: Circuits
5Solar Panel Output: Effect of Load
6Solar Panel Output: Effect of Shade
7Solar Panel Output: Effect of Angle
8Pumping Water with Solar Energy
9Exploring Surface Temperature
10Project: Solar Homes
11Project: What's Cookin'?

Experiment 3 from Investigating Solar Energy Lab Book

<i>Investigating Solar Energy</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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