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Exploring Solar Thermal Heating

Exploring Solar Thermal Heating

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Solar water heating, also known as solar thermal, uses the sun’s energy to produce domestic hot water.

Producing hot water for showers, baths and hot taps accounts for a major proportion of the overall domestic energy consumption, but even in the UK a household can easily produce around half the hot water it needs a year from solar energy. This workshop gives pupils a practical insight into how a solar heating system works and allows them to collect and analyse data to calculate the efficiency of a solar thermal energy collector.

school group visiting CAT

Workshop Overview

Following an introduction to the concept of solar thermal energy collection using examples on the CAT site, pupils carry out experiments using a tube-type collector. This provides an understanding of a typical domestic solar water heating system and its efficiency. Pupils are involved in collecting data, using Excel for analysis and graph making, and taking into account the role of independent and dependent variables in their experiments.

Key Info

  • Duration 1 1/2hours
  • Suitable for A level
  • Focus on STEM subjects
  • The tour involves access to the CAT site and suitable footwear and outdoor clothing is essential
  • Covers the principle of solar thermal energy collection and the factors affecting panel efficiency
  • £120 per session (up to 20 pupils)


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