Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Project: Solar Homes


The Thomas family lives in a sunny, warm, dry region and recently was surprised when they received their electrical bill. They realized that they needed to do something to reduce how much they spent on electricity each month.

Mrs. Thomas did some research on the electric company’s website and found several reasons for switching to solar energy. Most important for the family was that they could save money on energy costs each month and reduce their taxes through a government program. In addition to saving money, Mrs. Thomas learned that solar energy is clean, renewable, and reliable.

In this project, you will construct a one-story solar home based on requirements and constraints. You will use solar panels to power a fan that will be used to cool your home. The goals are to make your model home energy-efficient and to achieve the lowest temperature possible in 300 seconds (5 minutes) on a warm day.


  • Vernier Surface Temperature Sensor to measure the temperature inside the house
  • 1, 2, or 3 KidWind 2 V Solar Panels to power the KidWind Motor
  • KidWind Motor to use as a fan

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 10 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.

Buy the Book

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