Investigation: Building a Parabolic-Trough Collector

This Investigation: Building a Parabolic-Trough Collector worksheet also includes:

Amateurs of alternative energy build a mini parabolic-trough solar energy collector and use it to heat water. Temperature is recorded over a three-minute period and the data is graphed and analyzed. Note that in order to paint aquarium tubing black, you will need paint designed to adhere to plastics. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Pros

  • Demonstrates the effectiveness of solar energy as a renewable energy source for heating water
  • A concisely written lab activity that comes complete with background and follow-up questions
Cons

  • Controlling water flow may be quite a challenge, so be prepared to have lab groups repeat the process as they become more familiar with their constructed equipment
Common Core