Sunday, January 24, 2010
Fixing up a Jimmy Carter solar panel
Students in the Sustainability Design and Technology Degree are taking the junior-level Energy and Energy Efficiency class for the first time. It comes with a technology lab. I wish to use these labs over the years to make on-campus demonstrators of all the major renewable energy formats, as well as important energy efficiency treatments.
So one of the first things we needed was a solar hot water demonstrator. So we pulled a Jimmy Carter solar panel out of storage and cleaned it up with a view to figuring out a display stand and system demonstrator of some kind later on.
Students removed the glass plate and scrubbed both sides, chased out dust and dead spiders and reassembled the whole thing.
Then we put it outside in the sun and watched the manifold temperature climb to 76 degrees F in just a few minutes. The day was cold, too.
Life in the old panel yet.
But earlier we had tested a modern evacuated tube design that climbed to 120 degrees in roughly the same amount of time.