This is a great topic for a science project! You should be able to use Fresnel lenses to concentrate light and make a solar panel more efficient.
To develop this idea into a science project, you should first read through the guide for doing a science project:http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... eityourown
First you need a question that you can answer with a specific experiment. Are you going to compare a traditional solar panel use alone to one with a Fresnel lens? Are you going to design your own Fresnel lens? Are you going to compare design on different lenses? Write your question on a piece of paper before going to the next step.
Next, you should do background reading so you will understand the science behind your project. This is a very important step. Ideally, you want to find out what others have done before, and then design a unique project of your own.
It is a little difficult to do a scientific literature search on this topic because a search for “Fresnel lens” and “solar” brings up so many commercial sites, but here is an example of a scientific paper that you could use to model your science project. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the complete article, but the abstract and figures should be helpful because they describe what was done and show the data. Please note the graphs in the figures that show the quantitative data that was collected for the research project. Your objective is to generate data like this that you can graph. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 811000488X
The article above is a recent publication, so you might want to look up the authors who are at the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Dr. Peiwin Li is the primary author and if you click on his name, his e-mail address will appear. You could write to Dr. Li and ask questions about the paper.
This was just an example of how to find background information on your topic. You should do additional internet searches or go to a nearby university library that has scientific journals to look for more information. For your internet search, type in “Google scholar” and use this site to search for “solar Fresnel” This will bring up a list of articles that are pertinent to your topic and will provide you with lots of ideas for your project.
You will need a way to measure your results. Dr. Li’s group used a solar cooker for their project, but you might want to adapt this project from the science buddies website that uses a solar-based hot water heater. Either approach would give you measurable results. You might be able to think of something else to use, as well.http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p033.shtml
I hope this helps you get started. Please post back in this thread if you have any questions.