Most people know that the sun’s power provides energy that people can actually tap into and use for practical purposes. Showing skeptics just how useful this source of sustainable energy happens to be, however, can be a rather difficult undertaking. To get the point across and spread a little enlightenment along the way, it can help to create a solar power science project for illustrating the productivity of this form of energy collection.
Depending on the desired complexity of a solar power science project, students will find a number of options are available to them. Some ideas for illustrating the power of the sun during a science project demonstration include:
• Using a solar power kit to answer questions about functionality or efficiency – To show the capacity or efficiency of a small system, this solar power science project would depend on a ready-made kit for energy collection. It is possible to purchase very small solar kits that run basic machines, such as toy cars. A solar power science project created using this type of system might look at the efficiency of power collection during certain seasons of the year. Or, if the batteries can be changed out, a project might focus on what type of collection battery is the best to use to garner the greatest charge.
• Showing the efficiency of water purification using solar systems – There are specialized devices that are used to decontaminate water for human consumption. This type of solar power science project might explore the different systems and which operates the most efficiently in regard to time involved to bring water to the safe temperature of 65 degrees Celsius. A low-tech way to achieve the same type of effect is to place transparent bottles of water on a heat absorbing surface. To gain the experiment side of a science project, students can change out heat-conducting materials. For example, using black paper, cloth or even shiny aluminum foil.
• Dreaming up designs for solar cookers – Another solar power science project in the same vein as the water project involves cooking using the sun’s power. There are some very low-tech designs for solar cooking devices. Students can take a look at the systems and see if they can create a means for speeding up the process, or they can use ready-made systems and see which are the most efficient and why.
Solar power science project possibilities abound. When this type of project is completed, students can learn just how powerful the sun’s energy is while learning more about how this sustainable energy can be captured to offset electrical use.