Sunlight is composed of photons or bundles of radiant energy. In photovoltaic panels, that energy is converted into electricity. In a solar water heating system, sunlight is converted into heat in the solar collector. When photons strike a solar collector, they may be reflected or absorbed. The more photons absorbed, the more efficient the solar collector can be. The ability of a solar collector to absorb photons is affected by many factors, including its color.
The KidWind Solar Thermal Exploration Kit allows you to test how different variables affect a solar collector. For this experiment, you will pick one variable and test it.
Use a Surface Temperature Sensor to measure the change in temperature of the water in a solar collector.
Create a plan to test a variable that affects solar collectors.
Collect data and draw conclusions based on results.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.