Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Exploring Passive Solar Heating

Figure from experiment 22 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


To reduce the amount of electricity used to heat and cool buildings, people are working to refine passive solar design features that allow buildings to heat and cool without the need for a system that relies on electricity.

A well-designed passive solar building retains heat in the winter in order to be comfortably warm and, during the summer, eliminates heat so that it remains cool. This heating and cooling is done without the use of pumps or fans and instead relies on insulation and shade, amongst other features.

In this experiment, you will monitor temperature of a model home and determine the cooling rate of the interior after the model home has been heated by a lamp. Once you have this baseline data, you can compare it to future experiments after making modifications to your model home.


  • Measure the temperature of a model home as it cools.
  • Compare results to Newton's Law of Cooling.

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?

Renewable Energy with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Renewable Energy: Why is it So Important?
2What is Energy?
3Project: Energy Audit
4Voltage and Circuits
5Current and Resistors
6Mechanical Power
8Exploring Wind Turbines
9Effect of Load on Wind Turbine Output
10Blade Variables and Power Output
12Turbine Efficiency
13Power Curves
14Power and Energy
15Project: Maximum Energy Output
16Project: Build a Wind Farm
17Exploring Solar Panels
18AEffect of Load on Solar Panel Output
18BFill Factor and IV Curve of a Solar Panel
19Variables Affecting Solar Panel Output
20Effect of Temperature on Solar Panel Output
21Project: Build a Solar Charger
22Exploring Passive Solar Heating
23Variables Affecting Passive Solar Heating
24Exploring Solar Collectors
25Variables Affecting Solar Collectors
26Project: Solar Cooker

Experiment 22 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Renewable Energy 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