Passive Solar Energy Project

By Madeira Halow
February 27, 2018

GREENSBORO – Mrs. Burkett’s 6th period Geology class was tasked with designing and building a solar water heater to determine which design heated the water the best. The project was inspired by previous lessons concerning pollution and global warming.

passive – needing little/no equipment

Students broke into groups and talked about what material they would need and which function each item would serve. The main goal of the project was to create a device that would collect water from the top, heat the water, and then deposit it in a collection bin.


Materials Used 
boxes of varying size
coffee tins
waterproof glue
plastic tubing
saran wrap
black paint

Students filled a beaker with a liter of water from the gardening hose in the greenhouse and dumped it into the coffee can, plugging the tubing so they could take the initial water temperature prior to heating.

Temperatures ranged from 60-70 degrees.

After unplugging the tubes, students had to keep cycling the water through for 20 minutes and check the temperature every 5 minutes.

All groups saw an increase in temperature, but results varied due to variation in design and complications such as leaks.

However, group 3 saw the most increase in water temperature, jumping from 64.9 to 80.1 degrees Fahrenheit!

Group 3
Group 2
Group 1

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