Students will have a scenario to build a solar oven to cook a S’more. The teacher and students will discuss renewable versus non-renewable resources and the importance of solar energy. We use solar panels on houses now to help with the electricity to certain houses.
Students will be investigating the amount of voltage a single solar panel will produce under a variety of conditions. They will keep accurate data since they will be using this data to complete their assessment task for this lesson.
By this lesson students have learned about what the power grid is, renewable and nonrenewable resources used to generate electricity, and how solar panels work. In this lesson students watch a news clip will read a report regarding the integration of solar power into the electric grid and write an informative essay on why a mix of resources is best for the U.S. Power Grid.
Students will take the working knowledge from the previous lesson and apply some of the skills by participating in solar simulations. The Energy City simulation will give students the opportunity to work with their own “cities” while adding the types of energy sources (nonrenewable/renewable) to create a sustainable city. The solar power simulator gives students the opportunity to turn off/on a solar panel controlled system, change the amount of sunlight that hits the panels, and control the load. The myDaq/myGrid system simulated the control panel of a power generation unit while have a miniature tangible system to manipulate.
Students will be making a multimedia project to take before a mock “board of directors” as if they were pitching a solar power project to GMSD school district. Students will research background information and put together a portfolio (with powerpoint or prezi) with solar panel placement, diagrams, maps, cost analysis, costbenefit, justification, and other needed information that will then be presented to a panel that will give feedback and recommendations based on their project proposals.
Students will be working making a solar cell. Solar cells are added together to make a solar panel. Each cell has an electrical output. Students will be working with multimeters to find the output of their solar cell. Each group will add their cells together to wire them up together and measure the total output. They will be looking at the arrangement of the example panels and the shape of the cells they put together, then students will have to diagram what they believe is the best configuration for a solar panel and justify their arrangement.
Beginning lesson, in which students will be exposed to the material as a whole and understand what their focus will be. They will be introduced to renewable resources, a main focus on solar energy. They will have an introduction to active background knowledge and overview the next several lessons. Students will have a reading/writing component with this lesson in which a non-fiction text will be given.
Students will be working with an article that contains maps of China and the United States in which a similar area of solar radiation is compared. Students will be using the graphs, charts, and maps to construct comparison maps of China and the United States, in order to draw some conclusion about where to put in solar energy projects and justify their placement based on the human and environmental impact of their plans.
Students will use their knowledge of how to measure angles to determine which angle of a solar panel will absorb the most light. They will conduct an experiment that will simulate solar panels absorbing sunlight at various angles between 0˚ and 90˚ to determine provides the greatest voltage. The class will use their discoveries to discuss how this experiment would change in a real-world situation. After the experiment and discussion, students will research how electrical engineers determine the angle at which they should place solar panels. They will analyze what contributes to different angle measures for different parts of the Earth. Students will then write a discussion board post detailing what they have learned about solar panels, their placement, and applications within real-world situations.
Instructions to solar energy projects to save money and reduce pollution are found below, along with information regarding solar panels and solar cell types.
- Which Solar Panel Type is Best? Mono-, Polycrystalline or Thin Film?
- BuildItSolar: Solar energy projects for Do It Yourselfers to save money and reduce pollution
- Instructions for making the Gratzel Solar Cell
- 3 Ways to Make Solar Cells – wikiHow
- SunWind Solar Car Kits and Solar Energy Education – Solar Energy Kits for kids
- Fun and Educational Solar and Renewable Energy Projects
- Solar Cell Types: Up To 25% Efficient – Do-It-Yourself Solar-Powered PC: Technical Foundations
- Photovoltaic Panel Efficiency, Inherent and System Constraints
- Solar Energy Resources