Resources for Solar Projects and Solar Schoolhouse Olympics Events
note that where it says 'pdf' that means another document will open in your browser or you can save it to your harddrive on your computer. You'll need adobe acroreader to view these files. Most computers have this, but if not, it is free to download at adobe.
Using plastic as a window for solar cookers. Tips for use of different types of plastic, as an alternative to glass. [15kb pdf]
Many design options exist for making
solar cookers. You can get some plans online from Solar
Cookers International website. Also be sure to browse the
site for recipe ideas and other tips.
We will be boiling water (in small container ~1/2 pint), and also cooking something to eat (your recipe) at the Olympics.
Make sure you try out your cooker before the Olympics.
There are several great books on making Solar Cookers. We really like this one - Heaven's Flame by Joseph Radabaugh. Your teacher might have a copy or it is available from Homepower.com or Amazon.com
For best results
- try to keep the box (oven) sealed when cooking. Leaks let out the heat that you've captured.
- use dark cooking pots to maximize heat absorption.
- provide adequate insulation.
- additional reflectors (properly oriented) can direct more sunlight into your oven providing more 'fuel' to cook with.
Experienced solar moduled ready to power your fountain. The solar electric module for this year's (2007) Olympics has a history powering a home in Sacramento for more than 10 years. read more
Tips on designing and building a Solar Fountain - Article by Hal Aronson and Tor Allen in Home Power magazine April/May 2005 (250kb pdf)
Solar Fountain presentation/guide
Workshops conducted in 2004. This is rather large file so be patient if dialup. 1.2 MB pdf.
Workshops conducted in 2006. This is rather large file so be patient if dialup. 2.3 MB pdf.
Sample Wiring Diagram [pdf]if including the Volt and Amp meters. Try wiring this using alligator clips jumpers or other temporary means, when testing it out. Can also insert a switch anywhere inline, if desired.
We've packaged the most expensive
items in a solar fountain (solar panel & pump) as an event kit.
For those that want extra equipment for another project or for the High Schools, who are using some of their own solar panels & pumps, here is a list of resources. Most of this equipment is NOT available at your local hardware store, yet. So allow for time to order and ship anything you'll need for projects.
We buy the Rule Bilge pumps (Model
24 360 gph) from West Marine. They have various other models to choose from.
Also, some of the product distributors listed below also carry Rule Pumps (eg.
Backwoods Solar, Sierra Solar).
[Note (2007.3.13) Attwood Pumps not advised for continuous solar fountain use. The tend to burn up rather quickly. They are attractive for labs and short term experiments since they start pumping at lower amp input, but do not use for longer term fountain applications]
There are several solar equipment
distributors that have both solar modules and pumps. You can shop at most convenient
and helpful location. We do not endorse any of these suppliers, though each
has been around for more than 5 years.
Solar Depot - Sacramento, Petaluma, Corona, CA
Sierra Solar - Grass Valley, CA
Real Goods - Hopland, CA
AAA Solar - New Mexico
Solatron - Victorville, CA
Backwoods Solar - Idaho
PUmps - Dankoff Solar - New Mexico
Might be able to find some deals at Home Power want ads.
you'll have to download the last section of the their online magazine to browse the ads or pick a copy up at the local book store (Border, Barnes/Noble, etc.)
Josh Church, the Solar Schoolhouse
Solar Car Event Grand Marshall, provides
race tips[pdf] based on several years of conducting solar car races.
for building Model Solar Race Cars [pdf]. Developed by Solar Schoolhouse's
Hal Aronson. Presented at Solar Car Workshop March 2003 and updated for 2004.
Includes images of a sample race car.
From the Your Solar Home Student Guidebook (available from Rahus.org & Solarschoolhouse.org), The Solar Race Car Model (Activity #14) 1.3MB pdf
Curriculum resources from DOE- National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) specifically about Junior Solar Sprint (Solar Cars). Includes classroom investigations, tips on construction, teacher guides, etc. http://www.nrel.gov/education/jss_hfc.html
Chimacum Solar Car website: Teacher & Student Lesson Plans with lots of great illustrations for all aspects of designing solar cars. Developed by a teacher at Chimacum Middle School in Washington State. This school has now adopted solar cars as part of their standard curriculum for 7th grade.
Model Solar Homes
Model Solar Home Design guide - tips for building model solar homes. The basics. assembled by Hal Aronson. rather large file so be patient if dialup. 1.6 MB pdf.
Quick Tips for Model Solar Homes for the Olympics[pdf] - Hal Aronson/Tor Allen. Includes finding latitude for your location, Sun Angle formulas, etc.
Websites of solar homes... get some ideas
SolarStrategies.com - this modular build house is a typical new england saltbox style home, with lots of windows, properly sized eaves, and solar electric systems.
Solar Decathlon - A 2002 competition for university students from architectural programs. Goal was to design independent powered homes. A wide variety of designs emerged. Next competition is scheduled for 2005. Two schools from California are participating - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and University of Southern California. TIPS from Solar Decathletes2002 - includes lessons learned by the the 10 teams in design and building their zero energy homes. good stuff!
Watch the Solar Decathlon 2005 Film produced by The Rahus Institute-Solar Schoolhouse. A book highlighting all the designs is also available. www.rahus.org
What's your latitude? enter your city, state OR zip code here. http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/gazetteer
Sun Angle Charts for your location:
Given a date and time, you can tell exactly where the sun will be in the
sky using a Sun Angle Chart. Also the Sun Angle (elevation) at noon on Summer
Solstice (June 21st), Winter Solstice (December 21st), and Equinox (March 20th
and September 20th) are easily available at a glance. Useful in designing the
overhangs on your model solar home. These charts in adobe pdf format. Lodi[pdf]
chart-how to read[pdf].
To produce a custom sun angle chart for your location try this online tool at the University of Oregon
Solar Hot Water Heaters
A Primer on Solar Hot water heaters, written by Ken Olsen and published in Homepower.com, provides overview and design differences of the different types of systems available.
Solar Hot water design guide from AAA Solar. They also have a full catelog of equipment available.
Manufacturer of a variety of solar hot water systems - Sunearth - located in Ontario, CA. Diagrams, specification sheets are available online. Check out the OG-300 Certified Systems.