Students Design and Build Solar Water Heaters During Lunar Mission
Want your students to design solar water heaters to solve a major problem on the moon? Want your students to learn to calculate data using formulas and live data collected from a system they build? Keep reading!
Alice Torres must prioritize her time as two survival tasks weigh heavily on the HAWC team: re-establishing radio contact with Earth and mining ice from Shackleton crater to produce badly needed drinking water. Torres is torn between helping Plissken repair the radio and building a solar water heater with their sparse supplies to ensure the group’s survival. Students will overcome a similar challenge by designing and constructing their own water heaters and analyzing their results.
Experiments 1. Measure the thermal energy delivered to an area. 2. Design and build a device to concentrate and capture this energy in order to melt ice. 3. Determine the efficiency of the device.
Learning Objectives 1. Explain the effect of convection, conduction, and radiation energy as it relates to heating water remotely. 2. Construct a solar water heater at a given location to melt ice. 3. Build an apparatus to measure the thermal energy density at various locations in front of a heat source. 4. Calculate the efficiency of the solar water heater. 5. Explain the difference between the reflective projection of a constant-radius curve and a parabolic curve. 6. Demonstrate an understanding of why different materials and dimensions produce different results in solar water heaters.