Sun Heat University 

Join the  Solar Heating Group and share your experiences.. Below are are a few basic concepts and a few experiments designed to get you closer to the sun.  

1. Glazing Material research : There are a variety of glazing materials on the market today with a variety of special properties and special price tags. This interactive research exercise is designed to help clarify the properties and prices of the glazing materials available. The information provided is incomplete and a bit crude. See what you can do with it...

2. Glazing Materials experiment : Devise experiments to test the heat trapping abilities of various glazing materials. If you're at a loss for ideas move on to the next exercise.  hot box, science project.

3.  Hot Box : Build two solar hot boxes and conduct solar thermal experiments that demonstrate the greenhouse effect. Paint the inside of one black and the inside of the other white. Take temperature readings every minute in bright sunlight and plot graphs of your results. Explain why one solar hot box gets hotter than than the other. Use different glazing materials and repeat this experiment. 

4. Concentrators : In this exercise we'll build and test a parabolic trough solar concentrator. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a parabolic trough concentrator with a tracking device? Parabolic dish concentrators can produce higher temperatures than parabolic trough concentrators so why are they not more popular? Define heat...

5. Window Box : This is a nice, simple experimental project that can actually add heat to a room in the dead of winter.  It demonstrates a passive, thermo-siphoning, heat transfer system. Not the most practical heat harvesting project, but it's a great  starter project for the novas.  Mother Earth News has published a great article on what the call the Heat Grabber. This could be the simple solar heating starter project you've been looking for.

6.  Solar Heat Gain     Design and build a direct gain solar greenhouse. Sometimes a solar greenhouse is only used to moderate greenhouse temperature swings so that plants can survive a harsh winter. Collect temperature swing data from a greenhouse with and without a heat storage. Explain the significance of your findings.

 7.  Heat Loss   Direct gain heating systems have a high heat loss. Measure the temperature drop of a ceramic cup of boiling water over a period of 10 minutes. Repeat the experiment with a Styrofoam cup. Now place a lid on the Styrofoam cup and repeat the experiment. Can you estimate the R value of the cups from your data? what are your conclusions?

 8. Heat Storage The intermittent nature of sunlight necessitates a means of storing heat so that it may be used as needed. This exercise is designed to introduce  a few heat storage facilities that may build and tested. Students are encouraged to use their imagination. This exercise should be thought of as introduction to alternative methods of heat storage.

 9.  Trombe Wall    Build a working passive solar-heating, modified, Trombe Wall and demonstrate how it can add daytime heat to a house without loosing that heat at night. 

10. Solar greenhouse  Build a passive solar greenhouse, experimental model. Measure temperature differences at various levels inside the greenhouse and trace the convective currents that push their way into the house.


11. Evacuated Tube   Compare an evacuated tube to a thermosyphoning batch heater.

solar collector science project.

12. Solar Collector :Build an experimental solar collector and demonstrate how solar hot water can be made. 


 13. Radiant Floor Heating : Explain why radiant heating is used for solar heating systems.

14.  Solar House Design : Design an energy independent house. How many collectors should you use. How big should the multi tank heat storage vault be? How many photovoltaic panels will you need? Calculate the heat gain and the heat loss of this house.

15.  Solar Thermal Roof  : Calculate how much fuel oil a solar thermal roof will save in a year..

 16. Solar Thermal Engine : Design a solar thermal engine and integrate it into a solar thermal house design. 

17. Solar Hot Water Systems batch heater, drain down, drain back, trickle down, and closed loop. 

18. Plant Bed Heating A method of storing greenhouse heat where it is needed most.

19. First MTD Collector A learning experience

20. Trickle_Down_Solar A revolutionary, low cost, home heating and domestic hot water system designed for the do -it- yourselfer.