Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Variables Affecting Passive Solar Heating

Figure from experiment 23 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


Buildings can be designed to retain heat in the winter while also helping them to remain cool in the summer. Insulation and heat storage are important factors in such a system. A thermal mass, a material that absorbs and stores heat, is one example of a design feature that can be used to help control the temperature in a building.

In this experiment, you will examine the effectiveness of different design features. Two model homes, one that will act as a control and one that you modify, will be heated by a light bulb. Temperature sensors will monitor their temperatures throughout a simulated day and night.


  • Use Surface Temperature Sensors to measure temperature.
  • Design, build, and test a model solar home.
  • Compare your results to the data collected by other groups.

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 23 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.

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