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Explore solar energy with this innovative science kit designed to help students investigate energy transformations. Discover how the angle of photovoltaic panels relative to the sun affects power output. Experiment with basic circuits and learn about important factors in photovoltaic systems.
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Explore solar energy with this innovative science kit designed to help students investigate energy transformations. A hinged box helps students discover how the angle of photovoltaic panels relative to the sun affects power output. Compare your experimental findings to online sun-angle calculators.
Three solar panels allow you to explore series and parallel circuits. Learn about the effect of important variables in photovoltaic systems, such as the effects of shade, temperature, and load on solar panel output. Harness energy from the solar panels to pump water or power a small motor.
Activities and Concepts
- Track and document the path of the sun: Create a solar resource sun track by testing angles and taking sample data throughout the day. Use a graph to develop a sun angle curve for optimal solar panel angle.
- Compare the Solar Energy Exploration Kit result of your testing to a sun angle website.
- Water pumping time trials: Experiment in teams with how much water can be pumped over a period of time using parallel and series circuitry.
- Clean energy; discovering and discussing solar power as an energy source
- Exploring energy transformations; designing, building, and evaluating devices that convert one form of energy into another
- Understanding circuits and electricity
- Developing and using physical models
- Designing controlled experiments
- Optimizing designs
- Analyzing data
- Learning about weather and climate
- Box dimensions: 13 1/8 in x 7 5/8 in x 4 ½ in
- Maximum power output: 1.2 W (6 V x 200 mA in series, or 2 V x 600 mA in parallel)