Renewable Energy

Happy Leap Day everyone!

One group's project, including solar cells, hydrogen fuel cells, windmill, and breadboard with two series circuits (red & yellow LEDs)

I’ve written before about renewable energy. One of the projects my ninth graders just completed is a renewable energy power plant and distribution system. The challenge is to use solar power, wind power, and hydrogen fuel cells to provide light to a city. The red LEDs above represent houses in the residential section, and the yellow LEDs represent businesses in the industrial section. It is a windy city (Chicago perhaps?), so a fan is blowing all day long and wind power can be utilized the entire time. But power needs to be provided both in daytime and at nigthttime, whether the sun (a lamp) is shining or not. That forces the students to use the fuel cells and wind power and not only to rely on the solar/photovoltaic cells.

Another group's project

The students really liked this project, and I think they learned a lot too. Everything from how to wire circuits, to using a multimeter, to Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws for electricity, to all about different sources of energy. Like many of us, they are excited about the energy sources of the future (e.g., hydrogen-powered cars). Look at this nice sketch a student made:

Sketch of Circuit w/ Multiple Energy Sources

Have a great day!

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1 Comment

Filed under engineering, teaching

One response to “Renewable Energy

  1. Pingback: Pi Day Arrives Again! | Maryland Math Madness

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