Solar Circuit

How Tilt Angle Affects Solar Cell Output

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will expose solar cells to a light source from a set distance and measure the output with a multimeter. Students will change the angle that the light source strikes the solar panel and measure the resultant output. They will compare and contrast...

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Learning Goal(s):
After the completion of this lab, students will be able to describe how the angle of light exposure affects solar cell output, have practiced using a multimeter, and have analyzed collected data.
Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Fuel Inquiry Poster

Fuels and PV Cells

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will return to the phenomena of energy resources to support safety, health, and comfort in an emergency situation. They will distinguish between how common materials provide energy and develop an understanding of how the atomic and molecular...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students explore the conservation of mass in chemical reactions by observing and modeling combustion reactions and exploring the essential question/phenomena, “is all fire the same?” Students will use information resources and a 3D model of a PV cell to understand how solar modules generate electricity. “How do PV cells make electricity?”Students will construct circuits to explore PV modules and variables involved in powering devices. Students evaluate, revise, and justify the energy resources suggested on an emergency preparedness supply list. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Solar Rooftop

Solar Pathfinder Tutorial

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

This lesson is designed to allow the students to practice assembling and using their Solar Pathfinders, along with analyzing the data. The students will take a single measurement and digital photograph at a location near the classroom designated by the...

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to properly assemble and orient their solar pathfinder. Students will be able to properly record the information provided by a solar pathfinder. Students will be able to accurately analyze the information provided by the solar pathfinder to calculate the solar potential (kWh/m2/day) taking into account variables such as shading, climate and weather.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

Build Solar Cars

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will build their solar vehicles. There are many options for them to do this, depending on the specific variables hoping to be tested following the construction and material-selection process. Students will be given the opportunity to try out...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct a geared solar car, a pulley-system solar car, or both. Students will make verbal predictions about the outcomes and viabilities of different types of solar cars. Students will pinpoint the independent, dependent, and control variables in their solar car testing process.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
 Foil Barge

What is Force?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Basic Stamp Microprocessor

Creating a Light-Tracking Servo

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will learn how to program the Basic Stamp to use information from two photoresistors to point a servo at a light source. This will be the first degree of freedom for the flower head.

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will synthesize the previous lesson for light metering and servo control to design a servo controlled by two photoresistors that will track a light source.
Author:
Pat Blount
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Wave Attenuator

Testing a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will test the efficiency of the tidal wave attenuator models that they previously built. They will determine variables on their models they can manipulate, such as wire gauge and magnet strength, and measure the effects of manipulating this...

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator). 2. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators. 3. Students will communicate results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of a wave attenuator.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Solar Charger Diagram

Can Portable PV Charge Vehicles?

Grades:
10-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

In this lesson, students will begin to explore the potential and challenges related to using photovoltaics to supplement the power needed to charge batteries in BEVs. Students will test a variety of wiring options related to series and parallel wiring....

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will explore the role of series and parallel wiring as they pertain to voltage and amperage.Students will explore the processes involved with charging batteries and relate these processes to voltage and amperage.Students will test photovoltaic modules to identify voltage and amperage outputs.Students will calculate, using data from field tests, the maximum power that can be produced using photovoltaics within the constraints of a typical passenger vehicle’s surface area.Students will calculate charging times using various PV array power ratings.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Wort Chiller

Bioreactor Water Circulation System

Grades:
7-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Solar energy is available when the sun shines but energy can be supplemented at night by the decomposition energy in a bioreactor. In this activity we will experiment with the feasibility of using heated water in a bioreactor to circulate it through a...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will examine the properties of solar water pumping systems using KidWind solar water pumps or similar water pumps. 2. Students will experiment with the properties of water and its limitations in circulating due to pump power and distance. 3. Students will evaluate the use of a heat sink/chiller in the circulation of water through the bioreactor.
Author:
Tami Church
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Background Research on Car Design

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will play around with the solar car kits to familiarize themselves with the materials in preparation for the solar car engineering challenge.

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
To introduce students to the problem that this project will attempt to solve: building a solar car that will go straight, far, and fast to win a race.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Karen Nelson
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min