Using Solar Energy
In this activity, you will demonstrate how solar energy can be used to heat water.
- Refer to Figure 1 as you set up your experiment.
- Pour water into a flask to a depth of about 2 inches.
- Insert a thermometer into the opening of a 1-hole rubber stopper.
- CAUTION: Do not try this step until your teacher has demonstrated the proper technique.
- Insert the 1-hole rubber stopper containing the thermometer into the flask. Make sure the flask is sealed and that the bulb of the thermometer is in the water.
- Place the sealed flask in a sunny window, or about 1 inch away from a 150-watt light source.
- NOTE: Use the light source only if sunlight is not available.
- Record the temperature of the water at the beginning of the experiment and every 10 minutes thereafter. Enter the temperature readings on the data table found below.
|Observation: What happens to the temperature of the water during the course of the experiment?|
Drawing Conclusions / Analysis
- What are some possible uses for solar energy? Look at the results of your experiment to help you answer this question.
- Why is solar energy safer for the environment than energy obtained from fossil fuels?
- Describe other alternate energy sources. List the advantages and disadvantages of each. Use resources in your school library and the Climate Change exhibit to help you answer this question.
- Solar energy is now being used in some places to generate electricity. Research where and how this is done.
- Design an invention that can be powered by solar energy. Describe how it would work.