Extended Response Task: Physics and Sustainable Development Burkina Faso. LDC Saad Bin Zafar School Name Abstract This paper explores the idea of installing a solar powered water pump in Rollo, a town located in Burkina Faso, one of the least developed countries…
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Lastly the paper conveys the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels and its status in the upcoming years. Keywords: Burkina Faso, Solar cells, P-N junction, Electron-hole pairs Poverty is one of the major problems in many of the undeveloped countries throughout the world. Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, currently ranked by UN as the third poorest country in the world is facing a multitude of problems as a consequence of its increasing poverty (BBC News). With a nation of about 16 million of which 80% are dependent on agriculture, the 2009 West African floods which displaced 150000 people and also resulted in destruction of homes, shortage of food and water supplies, lack of access to the hospital and a massive decrease in power supply after the destruction of leading power plants caused severe problems for the people (CNN). Western Africa is one of those areas which are facing extreme energy problems especially in the electrical sector. According to an article by Itai Madamombe (African Renewal) blackouts are routine in almost all West African countries. Being a landlocked country Burkina Faso is unable to achieve its required electricity production via hydroelectric power stations. According to the CIA world factbook the electricity production of Burkina Faso in 2009 was 664.4 million kWh which was well short of the electricity consumption of the previous year. This led to imports of around 144.6 million kWh. ECOWAS has thus drawn plans to employ alternative sources of electrical energy with special emphasis on solar power so as to provide regular electricity at a much cheaper cost. Rollo, a small town near the capital Ouagadougou with a population of just 7783 people was deeply affected in the 2009 floods (Wikipedia). Lack of clean water supply and poor sanitation resulted in an increased infant and under-five mortality rates. As the population increased and agricultural land extended the need for this clean water is soaring. To achieve the above mentioned goals, photovoltaic solar panels can be installed within water pumps so as to provide this precious commodity. The mechanism behind its working along with its installation procedure, and its efficiency are all discussed below. Solar photovoltaic energy conversion is a one-step conversion process changing the incoming light energy from the sun into the required electrical energy. According to The Physics of Solar cells the light energy comprises of many tiny and minuscule particles known as photons. When light energy is absorbed by the panel, the electrons are excited. The built-in structure of the panel however herds the electrons in a single direction of the external circuit creating an electromotive force (E.M.F). This force then helps in driving the electrons through the load to do the electrical work. A Solar panel consists of many solar cells arrayed together. A blocking diode or a bypass is used to prevent total loss of energy in case one of the cells stops working. Figure 1 shows a structure of a typical solar cell. A solar cell is made of semiconductor usually silicon. It has three layers, a top layer of N-type semiconductor, an absorber layer consisting of a P-N junction and a back layer of P-type semiconductor. An anti-reflective coating is used so as to prevent reflection and increase efficiency. Also a protective covering of some material like glass is used which allows
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