Recommended for Middle School through High School.
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
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.