Solar Water: Heat it Up!

Young engineers are instructed to design and build their own solar water heaters. Then, they calculate the efficiency and cost and compare them to commercially available models. This is a full unit for pupils to apply their knowledge.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Find professionals in the community to help evaluate the final project presentations
Classroom Considerations

  • Prior knowledge required includes algebra, graphing, and heat transfer
  • This activity comes after "Solar Power"
  • 14 days of class time is a minimum
Pros

  • Instructions for every step of the design process are included
  • Activity is not to build a model, but to explore different variables and design their own
Cons

  • Materials required may be difficult to find in a typical engineering classroom
Common Core

Included Materials - Join to Access

  • Cost and Efficiency Trade-offs in Solar Water Heater Design
  • Cost and Efficiency Trade-offs in Solar Water Heater Design
  • Materials Budget (Doc)
  • Materials Budget (PDF)
  • Solar Water Heater Efficiency Analysis (Doc)
  • Solar Water Heater Efficiency Analysis (PDF)
  • Final Budget and Efficiency (Doc)
  • Final Budget and Efficiency (PDF)
  • Vocabulary
  • Lesson Plan