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  • Solar Panel
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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Design a Solar City
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Students design and build a model city powered by the sun! They ... More

Students design and build a model city powered by the sun! They learn about the benefits of solar power, and how architectural and building engineers integrate photovoltaic panels into the design of buildings. Less

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Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abbie Watrous
Bev Louie
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Jean Parks
Lesley Herrmann
TeachEngineering.org
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Do Different Colors Absorb Heat Better?
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Students test whether the color of a material affects how much heat ... More

Students test whether the color of a material affects how much heat it absorbs. Students will place an ice cube in a box made of colored paper (one box per color; white, yellow, red and black), which they will place in the sun. The students will make prediction as to which color will melt the ice cube first. They will record the order and time required for the ice cubes to melt. Less

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Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Center for Engineering Ed Outreach, Tufts University
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Folding Matters
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In this activity, learners explore how the process of folding has impacts ... More

In this activity, learners explore how the process of folding has impacts on engineering and is evident in nature. Learners consider many applications of folding such as parachutes, wings in a cocoon, heart stents, and solar panels in space. They work in teams to create a model out of everyday items of a solar panel that can be folded (for transport) and expanded (in space). Learners design their solar panel on paper, build it for transport, and open or test it. All teams evaluate their results, reflect on their design, and present to the group. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Education
Mathematics
Geometry
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Lesson Plans
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
IEEE
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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

More
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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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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Renewable Energy Living Lab: Exploring Regional and Local Resources
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Students become familiar with the online Renewable Energy Living Lab interface and ... More

Students become familiar with the online Renewable Energy Living Lab interface and access its real-world solar energy data to evaluate the potential for solar generation in various U.S. locations. They become familiar with where the most common sources of renewable energy are distributed across the U.S. Through this activity, students and teachers gain familiarity with the living lab's GIS graphic interface and query functions, and are exposed to the available data in renewable energy databases, learning how to query to find specific information for specific purposes. The activity is intended as a "training" activity prior to conducting activities such as The Bright Idea activity, which includes a definitive and extensive end product (a feasibility plan) for students to create. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Jessica Noffsinger
Jonathan Knudtsen
Karen Johnson
Mike Mooney
Minal Parekh
Scott Schankweiler
TeachEngineering.org
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Renewable Energy Living Lab: Power Your School
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Students use real-world data to calculate the potential for solar and wind ... More

Students use real-world data to calculate the potential for solar and wind energy generation at their school location. After examining maps and analyzing data from the online Renewable Energy Living Lab, they write recommendations as to the optimal form of renewable energy the school should pursue. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Jessica Noffsinger
Jonathan Knudtsen
Karen Johnson
Mike Mooney
Minal Parekh
Scott Schankweiler
TeachEngineering.org
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Renewable Energy Living Lab: Smart Solar
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Students use real-world data to evaluate whether solar power is a viable ... More

Students use real-world data to evaluate whether solar power is a viable energy alternative for several cities in different parts of the U.S. Working in small groups, they examine maps and make calculations using NREL/US DOE data from the online Renewable Energy Living Lab. In this exercise, students analyze cost and availability for solar power, and come to conclusions about whether solar power is a good solution for four different locations. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Jessica Noffsinger
Jonathan Knudtsen
Karen Johnson
Mike Mooney
Minal Parekh
Scott Schankweiler
TeachEngineering.org
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Renewable Energy Living Lab: The Bright Idea
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Students use real-world data to evaluate the feasibility of solar energy and ... More

Students use real-world data to evaluate the feasibility of solar energy and other renewable energy sources in different U.S. locations. Working in small groups, students act as engineers evaluating the suitability of installing solar panels at four company locations. They access data from the online Renewable Energy Living Lab from which they make calculations and analyze how successful solar energy generation would be, as well as the potential for other power sources at those locations. Then they summarize their results, analysis and recommendations in the form of feasibility plans prepared for a CEO. Less

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Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Activities and Labs
Instructional Material
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Jessica Noffsinger
Jonathan Knudtsen
Karen Johnson
Mike Mooney
Minal Parekh
Scott Schankweiler
TeachEngineering.org
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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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.)310.1( tcejbus ngised enotspac eht dna )150.1 ,140.1 ,130.1( stcejbus ngised aera ... More

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