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 »

Physical Science with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Temperature Probe Response Time
2Boiling Temperature of Water
3Freezing and Melting of Water
4Evaporation of Alcohols
5Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
6Neutralization Reactions
7Mixing Warm and Cold Water
8Heat of Fusion
9Energy Content of Fuels
10Energy Content of Foods
11Absorption of Radiant Energy
12An Insulated Cola Bottle
13A Good Sock
14Insolation Angle
15Solar Homes and Heat Sinks
16Conducting Solutions
17Conductivity of Saltwater: The Effect of Concentration
18Acid Strengths
19Frictional Forces
20First-Class Levers
21Pulleys
22An Inclined Plane
23Reflectivity of Light
24Polarizing Light
25How Bright is the Light?
26Electromagnets: Winding Things Up
27Magnetic Field Explorations
28Household Acids and Bases
29Acid Rain
30Gas Pressure and Volume
31Gas Temperature and Pressure
32Fun with Pressure
33Lemon "Juice"
34Simple Circuits
35Graphing Your Motion
36Speeding Up
37It's Race Day
38Crash Lesson
39Newton's Second Law
40Falling Objects

Experiment 15 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</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

Go to top