Alternative energy sources are energy sources other than the nonrenewable fossil fuels—coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Solar energy, or energy from the sun, is one energy alternative. A passive solar heating system uses no pumps, fans, or mechanical devices. Insulation and heat storage are important factors in such a system. Heat can be stored using thermal masses, also called “heat sinks.” Thermal masses can keep a home from heating or cooling too fast. In this experiment, you will examine the effectiveness of a thermal mass. You will then use what you learn to design and build a model solar home.
In this experiment, you will
- Measure temperature.
- Graph temperature data.
- Determine the relationship between thermal mass and the ability of a solar home to retain heat.
- Design and build a model solar home.