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Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Solar Homes and Heat Sinks

Figure from experiment 15 from Physical Science with Vernier

Introduction

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.

Objectives

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.

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?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 15 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Physical Science with Vernier</em> 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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We will be closed on August 21 to allow our employees to enjoy the Great American Eclipse.