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Working Model Solar Energy

Lynn Said:

how do i make a low-cost working model of a "solar pond"..for generatin energy????

We Answered:

Low cost and solar ponds do not really go together. They are usually very big, need a lot of salty water, and a lot of expensive equipment to get the useful energy out of them. If you want do a demonstation model or a small science experiment, here is a good way to do it:
Keep two things in mind 1) maximized surface area= more energy collected. 2) Minimize energy leaving the pond

Here is my version of a "Super Enhanced Solar pond"

Picture a small baby pool. Now super-insulate the bottom and sides of it with styrofoam. Paint the bottom of it with flat black paint. Fill it half way with saturated salt solution. Fill it a quarter of the way with clear lamp oil. The last quarter of the way is an air-gap. Over the top of the pool place a sheet of thin clear plastic. Make sure the plastic does not dip into the oil.

This arrangement will capture almost all of the heat energy of the light that falls on it. The oil is an insulator and it helps keep the hot salt water from rising to the top, since the oil floats on top.

Now you need to get the energy out of it.....

I would suggest small stirling engines with their power shaft rigged to a small generator or alternator. Some of them spin at 90 rpm just on the heat of a cup of coffee. Have the hot side of the stirling engine inside the bottom of the pool. Have the cold side in the cool air, or a pool of shaded, cold water.

This small pool, 6 ft in diameter, with an appropriate stirling engine will light a lot of small light bulbs and maybe a few big ones too.

Rodney Said:

My son, in Class IV, needs to build a working model demonstrating some science principles. Any ideas ?

We Answered:

I wanted to answer your question about inserting an autocad file into a word document. I plot the drawing to PDF format, then open the file in acrobat and "save as" a jpeg or bmp format. Then they should insert as graphic images.

As far as the science project....

You can make a parabolic trough out of something shiny ( I used pieces of a 2 liter soda bottle with strips of metal duct tape). You'll have to cut parabolic slots in a rigid frame. Place a black tube along the focal line and fill it with water. Point the shiny trough at the sun. It will heat water to 180°F in just a few minutes. To draw a parabola using a pencil, string, thumbtack and a 90° angle, check out this site:…

Nicole Said:

alternative energy model project ideas?

We Answered:

You can make your project out of recycled materials like soda bottles. There is a wind turbine project you can make with all recycled material, also a solar oven. Since it is only a model, it should be a quick easy build.

Good Luck!!

Randall Said:

Can anyone tell me how to make a working model in energy (solar, wind, kinetic etc...)?

We Answered:

What does it have to do? Do you have to generate electricity or move something over some predetermined distance; or do you just have to be able to explain what's happening? How long do you have to make it? What grade are you in--K-12, University, ...?

The simplest project I can think of would be to just take a ball and drop it--gravitational potential to kinectic energy. But I'm guessing that probably won't work in your situation.

If you're really ambitious, you could build a working wind turbine:…

You could make a solar powered hot dog cooker:…

If you don't like those, try to update with more information so people know what you're looking for.

Discuss It!

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muskan said:

hello. i want to make a working model of solar heater which should be a working model. plz tell me a simple way which does not cost much.

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