Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Variables Affecting Passive Solar Heating

Figure from experiment 23 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


Solar energy, or energy from the sun, is an example of a renewable energy source. You can use solar panels to generate electricity from solar energy to heat a house or building, and you can also design structures to increase the opportunity for passive solar heating. In passive solar heating, the sun’s energy is used to heat buildings without the use of pumps or fans to distribute the collected heat.

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. Two Temperature Probes will monitor their temperatures throughout a simulated day and night.


  • Use a Temperature Probe 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.

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
18Effect of Load on Solar Panel Output
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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