Solar Water: Heat it Up!

Type of Resource



Students explore energy efficiency, focusing on renewable energy, by designing and building flat-plate solar water heaters. They apply their understanding of the three forms of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation), as well as how they relate to energy efficiency. They calculate the efficiency of the solar water heaters during initial and final tests and compare the efficiencies to those of models currently sold on the market (requiring some additional investigation by students).

Performance Expectations

HS-PS3-3   Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

HS-ETS1-3   Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.