July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Energy Conversion and Conservation
In a course focused on renewable energy technologies (especially focusing on solar energy and wind energy), a student project assignment has been developed wherein students design, build, and test a model passive solar home. Following an in-class lesson on passive solar design strategies, students choose a location on Earth where their model home will be “located.” Next, the students must design their passive solar home so that it incorporates good passive solar design principles and includes, at minimum: 1) roof overhangs that are long enough to shade more than 2/3 of the home’s south-facing windows at solar noon on the summer solstice, but short enough that they shade no more than 1/3 of the home’s south-facing windows at solar noon on the winter solstice, and 2) at least one other specific feature that maximizes the solar gain in the winter and/or minimizes the solar gain in the summer. Students build their model passive solar homes out of a material of their choosing. Foam board, poster board, cardboard, and plywood are common choices. The model home must be to scale, and the scale of the model home must be specified. On the due date, students bring their model homes to the lab and test the shading performance of their roof overhangs. Students give a brief explanation of their home’s design and features, and then they adjust a heliodon – specifically built for this purpose – to the sun’s altitude angle for their home’s location at the summer solstice and then at the winter solstice. The instructor observes the shading performance of the home’s roof overhangs and determines whether the design criteria have been met. In addition to constructing the home, the students write a two page single-spaced paper explaining the design and features of the home. The assessment of the project is based on 1) whether the home meets the design criteria, 2) professionalism of the model home, and 3) clarity of the written description. The project ties together several important concepts in this course, and provides students with an opportunity to creatively apply what they have learned. Student feedback on the project has been overwhelmingly positive.
Aldeman, M., & Jo, J. H. (2021, July), A Model Passive Solar Home Student Design Project Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36594
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