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  • Photovoltaic
Concentrated Solar Power
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Students learn how the total solar irradiance hitting a photovoltaic (PV) panel ... More

Students learn how the total solar irradiance hitting a photovoltaic (PV) panel can be increased through the use of a concentrating device, such as a reflector or lens. This is the final lesson in the Photovoltaic Efficiency unit and is intended to accompany a fun design project (see the associated Concentrating on the Sun with PVs activity) to wrap up the unit. However, it can be completed independently of the other unit lessons and activities. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Abigail Watrous, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
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Concentrating on the Sun with PVs
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Students design, build and test reflectors to measure the effect of solar ... More

Students design, build and test reflectors to measure the effect of solar reflectance on the efficiency of solar PV panels. They use a small PV panel, a multimeter, cardboard and foil to build and test their reflectors in preparation for a class competition. Then they graph and discuss their results with the class. Complete this activity as part of the Photovoltaic Efficiency unit and in conjunction with the Concentrated Solar Power lesson. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Abigail Watrous, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
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Energy Resources and Systems
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Several activities are included to teach and research the differences between renewable ... More

Several activities are included to teach and research the differences between renewable and non-renewable resources and various energy resources. The students work with a quantitative, but simple model of energy resources to show how rapidly a finite, non-renewable energy sources can be depleted, whereas renewable resources continue to be available. The students then complete a homework assignment or a longer, in-depth research project to learn about how various technologies that capture energy resources for human uses and their pros and cons. Fact sheets are included to help students get started on their investigation of their assigned energy source. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Office of Educational Partnerships,
Susan Powers
Susan Powers, Jan DeWaters, and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence students in the K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program
TeachEngineering.org
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Energy Sources Research
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Fact sheets are provided for several different energy resources as a starting ... More

Fact sheets are provided for several different energy resources as a starting point for students to conduct literature research on the way these systems work and their various pros and cons. Students complete a worksheet for homework or take in-class time for research and presentation of their findings to the class. This approach requires students to learn for themselves and teach each other, rather than having the teacher lecture about the subject matter. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Office of Educational Partnerships,
Susan Powers, Jan DeWaters, and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence University students in the K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program
TeachEngineering.org
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Energy Sources Research
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Fact sheets are provided for several different energy resources as a starting ... More

Fact sheets are provided for several different energy resources as a starting point for students to conduct literature research on the way these systems work and their various pros and cons. Students complete a worksheet for homework or take more time in class for research and presentation of their findings to the class. This approach requires students to learn for themselves and to teach each other rather than having a teacher lecture about the various sources and systems. Less

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Subject:
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Clarkson University
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Susan Powers
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Energy Systems
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Posters are provided for several different energy conversion systems. Students are provided ... More

Posters are provided for several different energy conversion systems. Students are provided with cards that give the name and a description of each of the components in an energy system. They match these with the figures on the diagram. Since the groups look at different systems, they also describe their results to the class to share their knowledge. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Office of Educational Partnerships,
Susan Powers, Jan DeWaters, and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence University students in the K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program
TeachEngineering.org
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Energy Systems Activity
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Posters are provided for several different energy conversion systems. The students are ... More

Posters are provided for several different energy conversion systems. The students are provided with cards that give the name and a description of each of the components in the energy system. They have to match these with the figures on the diagram. Since the groups look at different systems, they must also describe their results with the class to share their knowledge. Less

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Subject:
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Clarkson University
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Susan Powers
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Generators: Three Mile Island vs. Hoover Dam
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Students are given a history of electricity and its development into the ... More

Students are given a history of electricity and its development into the modern age lifeline upon which we so depend. The methods of power generation are introduced, and further discussion of each technology's pros and cons follows. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brandon Jones
TeachEngineering.org
Techtronics Program,
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Ice, Ice, PV!
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Students examine how the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel ... More

Students examine how the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel is affected by temperature changes. Using a 100-watt lamp and a small PV panel connected to a digital multimeter, teams vary the temperature of the panel and record the resulting voltage output. They plot the panel's power output and calculate the panel's temperature coefficient. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Jack Baum Abby Watrous, Stephen Johnson, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
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Let the Sun Shine!
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Students learn how the sun can be used for energy. They learn ... More

Students learn how the sun can be used for energy. They learn about passive solar heating, lighting and cooking, and active solar engineering technologies (such as photovoltaic arrays and concentrating mirrors) that generate electricity. Students investigate the thermal energy storage capacities of test materials. They learn about radiation and convection as they build a model solar water heater and determine how much it can heat water in a given amount of time. In another activity, students build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. In an associated literacy activity, students investigate how people live "off the grid" using solar power. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Jeff Lyng
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sabre Duren
TeachEngineering.org
Xochitl Zamora-Thompson
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Maximum Power Point
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Students learn how to find the maximum power point (MPP) of a ... More

Students learn how to find the maximum power point (MPP) of a photovoltaic (PV) panel in order to optimize its efficiency at creating solar power. They also learn about real-world applications and technologies that use this technique, as well as Ohm's law and the power equation, which govern a PV panel's ability to produce power. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson, William Surles, Abby Watrous, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
TeachEngineering.org
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A New Angle on PV Efficiency
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Students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel relative to ... More

Students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel relative to the sun affects the efficiency of the panel. Using sunshine (or a lamp) and a small PV panel connected to a digital multimeter, students vary the angle of the solar panel, record the resulting current output on a worksheet, and plot their experimental results. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson, Abby Watrous, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
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Organic Solar Energy and Berries
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Students learn about how a device made with dye from a plant, ... More

Students learn about how a device made with dye from a plant, specifically cherries, blackberries, raspberries and/or black currents, can be used to convert light energy into electrical energy. They do this by building their own organic solar cells and measuring the photovoltaic devices' performance based on power output. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Crystal Young
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
TeachEngineering.org
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Photovoltaic Efficiency
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Through a series of four lessons, students are introduced to many factors ... More

Through a series of four lessons, students are introduced to many factors that affect the power output of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Factors such as the angle of the sun, panel temperature, specific circuit characteristics, and reflected radiation determine the efficiency of solar panels. These four lessons are paired with hands-on activities in which students design, build and test small photovoltaic systems. Students collect their own data, and examine different variables to determine their effects on the efficiency of PV panels to generate electrical power. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Abby Watrous, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson, Eszter Horyani, Dr. Gregor Henze, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Denise W. Carlson
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Pointing at Maximum Power for PV
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Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power ... More

Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Stephen Johnson, William Surles, Jack Baum, Abby Watrous, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
TeachEngineering.org
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Powering the U.S.
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This lesson provides students with an overview of the electric power industry ... More

This lesson provides students with an overview of the electric power industry in the United States. Students also become familiar with the environmental impacts associated with a variety of energy sources. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Frank Burkholder
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
TeachEngineering.org
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Racing with the Sun - Creating a Solar Car
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Students use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar ... More

Students use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar powered model car. Several options exist, though we recommend the "Junior Solar Sprint" (JSS) Car Kits that can be purchased with direction from the federal government. Using the JSS kit from Solar World, students are provided with a photovoltaic panel that produces ~3V at ~3W. An optional accessory kit also from Solar World includes wheels, axles and drive gears. A chassis must be built additionally. Balsa wood provides an excellent option though many others are available. The testing of the solar car culminates in a solar race between classmates. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Rahmin Sarabi
Roni Prucz
TeachEngineering.org
Techtronics Program,
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Racing with the Sun: Creating a Solar Car
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Learners use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar-powered ... More

Learners use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar-powered car. Solar car kits usually include a photovoltaic cell and motor; some include a chassis as well. Encourage learners to design their own chassis from balsa wood or other materials. Time for activity can be split between multiple meetings. Note: There are multiple sources for solar car kits. Most of the cost is in the photovoltaic cell. A larger, more powerful cell will allow greater flexibility for learners' designs. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Physics
Anthropology
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Data
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
Rahmin Sarabi
Roni Prucz
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Racing with the Sun - Creating a Solar Car
Conditions of Use:
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Students use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar ... More

Students use engineering design principles to construct and test a fully solar powered car. Several options exist, though we recommend the "Junior Solar Sprint" (JSS) Car Kits that can be purchased with direction from the federal government. Using the JSS kit from Solar World, students were provided with a photovoltaic panel that produces ~3V at ~3W. An optional accessory kit also available from Solar World includes wheels, axles and drive gears. A chassis must be built additionally. Balsa wood provides an excellent option though many others are available. The testing of the solar car culminates in a solar race between classmates. Less

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Subject:
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Techtronics Program, Duke University
Author:
Rahmin Sarabi
Roni Prucz
Less
Solar Angles and Tracking Systems
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Students learn about the daily and annual cycles of solar angles used ... More

Students learn about the daily and annual cycles of solar angles used in power calculations to maximize photovoltaic power generation. They gain an overview of solar tracking systems that improve PV panel efficiency by following the sun through the sky. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Trigonometry
Physics
Material Type:
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
William Surles, Abby Watrous, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)
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2002 gnirpS ,ngiseD gnireenignE liviC ot noitcudortnI
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.)310.1( tcejbus ngised enotspac eht dna )150.1 ,140.1 ,130.1( stcejbus ngised aera ... More

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