Sun Power School Science Project

Taking a hot bath is an activity that many of us enjoy after a hard day’s work or play and using water heaters is a big cause of wasted energy on this planet. In regards to this you can make a great science project of using the renewable energy source of the sun in order to heat your water. Capturing the sun to heat your water can show others that there are cleaner ways to get energy in our homes. When doing this project all you need is a few batch solar collectors using various different colors of plastic bags to see which ones work the best for capturing heat. Experiments for school such as this also have other applications such as for situations where you don’t have ready access to water heating sources like on camping trips. Solar heating has many more applications than this but we will focus on heating water in this example. A batch solar collector is any type of equipment that captures the sun’s energy in order to heat water. In most cases a batch solar collector is a storage tank that is placed inside of a box that is insulated to hold cold or heat. This batch solar collector faces the sun during the day and collects heat.

In this science fair project you can test various solar collectors to see which one works best for the purpose of heating water. All you will need is a thermometer in addition to the batch solar collector and some materials to record your data with. Some questions you could ask yourself in reference to getting data for this project are: do the different plastic bags that you use make any difference in terms of heat gained, and does a batch solar collector work for the purpose of heating water? Is it practical?