3.4 Practical Experiments at Ecolinc

Students from Unit 3/4 VCE Environmental Science visited Ecolinc in Bacchus Marsh to participate in various practical experiments and demonstrations about energy.
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  • 1. Practical Experiments at EcolincA. Models of Renewable Energy SystemsB. Comparing light globes Watts VS LuxC. Efficiency of Household AppliancesD. Passive Heating and Cooling: Power HouseE. Model Solar CarF. Model Hydrogen Car
  • 2. Definitions:You need to know what the following terms mean:• Convection currents• Transmission• Absorption• Dissipation• Conduction• Radiation• Reflection• Infra-red and ultra-violet radiation• Electromagnetic spectrum
  • 3. A. Comparing Renewable Energy SystemsYour Aim: To consider the advantages and disadvantages of each energy source including:• Amount of energy required to build the power stations (transport and construction)• Suitable locations• Cost (time, labour and financial)• Materials• Environmental limitations
  • 4. Here, a fan is used to turn a model wind turbine, whichconverts kinetic energy from the moving air intomechanical energy and then electrical energy for thelight globe and the spinning colour wheel.
  • 5. Wind Energy ConversionsKinetic Mechanical ElectricalSome energy is wasted, depending on the angle of the blades, friction of the air and the sound energy that dissipates.
  • 6. Wind Energy• Advantages • Disadvantages• Renewable • Not 24/7• No greenhouse gases • Aesthetics produced from • Bird kills? operation • Expensive to construct• Minimal footprint (can • Not all locations are co-exist with windy enough to make agriculture) them viable.
  • 7. A lamp is used to shinelight on a solar panel,which converts lightenergy into kinetic energyand then into electricalenergy.When light excites theelectrons in the ‘siliconsandwich’, an electricalcurrent is produced,which powers the buzzer(sound energy), lamp(light energy) or spinner(mechanical energy).
  • 8. Solar Energy ConversionsLight Kinetic Electrical Solar panels have become more and more efficient due to developments in the technology over time. They need to be kept clean and usually have a “warranty period” of about 25 years.
  • 9. Solar Energy• Advantages • Disadvantages• Renewable • Solar panels can be• No greenhouse gases expensive to make produced during and rely on finite operation materials (silicon)• Becoming more • Not suitable for all efficient locations and• Government rebates climates available • Not 24/7
  • 10. The model hydro-electric system transforms the energy from the moving water into electrical energy by using the water to turn a turbine (containing magnets and copper coils) which causes theThe water turbine can create electrical current topower to turn on a lamp or run a flow.motor which causes the colourwheel to spin.
  • 11. Hydro-electric Energy ConversionsPotential Kinetic Electrical Water in a dam (or a tap in this case) is released to turn a turbine (with magnets and coils of copper wire) which creates an electrical current, which can be used to power lighting, heating and machinery.
  • 12. Hydro-Electric Energy• Advantages • Disadvantages• Renewable • Not suitable for all• No greenhouse gases locations (need during operation mountains)• Can be turned on • Can affect habitats and off as required downstream. (given sufficient • Dams take up space water) for water storage.
  • 13. B. Comparing Light Globes
  • 14. Watts (W) ÷ 1000 = kilowatts (kW)kW = greenhouse gas emissions (kg per hour)
  • 15. Power (Watts) versus Light (Lux)• Comment on the relationship between lux level, power of the globe and temperature of the globe in terms of energy efficiency.• Is the amount of light produced by equivalent globes the same? Explain.• Is there a significant difference in the energy use between the two types of globes overall? What is contributing to the difference?
  • 16. C. Efficiency of Household Appliances
  • 17. Household AppliancesFor each of the following appliances list thepower output in watts and describe theenergy conversions that are taking place.Some of the energy is converted usefully, butsome is dissipated or not converted usefully.
  • 18. For example, thisfan convertselectrical energyto kinetic energyand has a poweroutput of 70W.Some of theelectrical energyis ‘lost’ as sound,heat andvibrations.
  • 19. Hair dryer
  • 20. Lamp with incandescent globe
  • 21. Lamp with compact fluorescent globe
  • 22. Portable fan heater
  • 23. Electric kettle
  • 24. Food Processor
  • 25. Watts (W) ÷ 1000 = kilowatts (kW) kW = greenhouse gas emissions (kg per hour)
  • 26. Household Appliances• How could an energy meter be used in the home to help save energy?• Comment on any results that surprised you. Are there any benefits or disadvantages with those results?
  • 27. D. Passive Heating and Cooling: Power House
  • 28. Did all temperaturesIncrease at the samerate?How was the‘greenhouse’ similar tothe Ecolinc ‘hotbox’?How does the‘greenhouse effect’ inthe atmosphere mimicthis model?
  • 29. What happened to each temperature when the light wasturned on and remained on for a period of time?Explain the circulation of air in the model house whenthe temperature outside the glasshouse increases as itwould during the day.
  • 30. Use a diagram and annotations to explain how passive heating and cooling occurs, as it does at Ecolinc. The model house and your results will help you.
  • 31. E. Model Solar Car
  • 32. “A solar cell is a diode (an electronicswitch element that only lets thecurrent through in one direction)that directly converts solar energyinto electrical energy. The basematerial of a solar panel is siliconwith boron or phosphorus added toit, creating two layers in the silicon,one with an excess of electrons andone with a shortage of electrons.When light hits the silicon, enoughenergy is provided to cause theexcess electrons to flow to the otherlayer. The electrons can only flow inone direction. When the light landson the panel, an electrical potentialis formed which can be utilised.”
  • 33. F. Model Hydrogen Car A battery provides the energy required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas using a ‘hydrogen cell’. The gases are stored in two tanks. When the gases recombine, they provide the mechanical energy for the wheels to turn.
  • 34. A Tour of Ecolinc – ESD features Ecolinc’s award winning building was designed using ESD principles. The building comprises energy efficient features such as:• natural cooling• ‘hot box’ heating technology• large, double glazed windows which allow natural light to enter while reducing heat transfer• low power lighting• solar hot water• solar panels which create electricity
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