Solar Energy Design is an exciting new 4-week summer course offered in partnership with Concord Consortium through a federally supported grant from the National Science Foundation. The use of solar energy has progressed from the ancient Greeks placing their homes to face the warm winter sun to modern day ultra-thin photovoltaic film that generates electricity directly from energy from the sun. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore how this alternative energy source can reduce the carbon footprint, and investigate how solar panels work to generate electricity. Students design a photovoltaic solar panel system for their own home or a residential building of their choice.
Using a computer-aided design and simulation tool called Energy3D along with Google Earth, students construct a model of their chosen residence, design a solar panel array for their residence, and evaluate how the design meets the challenge of maximizing electrical output while minimizing cost and aesthetic impact.
Middle school physical science.
Students will need to download and run Energy3D
and Google Earth
in order to complete the course. Both pieces of software are available for Mac and Windows,
and are free to download and run.