Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Solar Energy

Solar Panel, Solar Energy, Panels  This is the last day on Solar Energy.  I just found so much good material that I needed to do one more day.  I would love to have my students work through a couple of these packets because no one has solar energy out here and I'd like them to determine if it would even be viable option.  The village has several wind generators which help keep the electrical cost down.

First is this great 16 page packet on the Maths of Solar Panels and positioning them on buildings.  Although it is from Australia, it could easily be adjusted to apply anywhere.  It is actually a cross curricular unit for math, science, and geography.  Although it requires a specific multi-meter, it shouldn't be hard to obtain alternatives so students can do this.  The activity points out that the path of the annual movement of the sun is much like a sine wave.  It has all the information you need to carry it out.

This site shows how to calculate tiled array spacing for solar energy.  It includes a link to the NOAA Solar Calculator and explains how to use the site.  The site also has nice clear directions on using it.  For some places, it may only have certain cities but it gives a chance to practice.  According to the map, they only provide information on Anchorage and I'm West and North of the city so the information might not help me but I can still learn how to do it.  It provides the equations necessary to complete the calculations.  I'd like to divide my students up into groups and assign each group a different city so they can report back on their findings.

Finally is a 47 page passive solar module from Rutgers University which uses trigonometry.  This five lesson module comes complete with everything needed to run a two week unit on passive heating and cooling.  It even looks at determining if the cost is worth it to use passive solar.  Lesson 2 focuses on location and which locations are better for solar than others.  Lesson three looks at thermal mass in detail.  Lesson 4 focuses on solar angles while lesson 5 looks at how overhangs effect solar gain.

Each lesson has an activity that reinforces the topic.  homework, math, and could be used as a cross curricular unit for math and science.  It comes with standards and was published in 2014 so the information is quite recent.  I downloaded the pdf so I could explore it in more detail so I know when I'm going to use it.

Next topic is navigation.