Investigation 6: Solar Energy

This investigation will help you to:

To learn more about renewable energy resource, visit the following web sites:

Solar Energy, California Energy Commision
Explore the basics of solar energy and the products developed to harness this energy resource.

Solar Energy Basics, EREN - DOE
This site introduces the use of the Sun as an energy resource. Click on the "Back to Solar Energy" button at the top of the page to visit a new page that contains detailed links for more information about photovoltaics, passive solar heating and cooling, solar water heating, issues surrounding the use of solar power, and more.

National Energy Office, BLM
Learn more about different renewable energy resources. Click on the pictures to learn more specific information about renewable energy resources.

What are photovoltaic cells?

About Photovoltaics, EREN - DOE
This page provides a list of links to articles that cover topics related to photovoltaics, including how photovoltaics works, different types of photovoltaic systems, materials used to make solar cells, applications and uses of photovoltaics, current uses of photovoltaics, current news about photovoltaics, and more.


Wind Energy Facts at a Glance , American Wind Energy Association
Explore a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about wind as an energy resource, including information about how to calculate the amount of power in the wind at a given wind speed, the basic types of wind turbines, the cost of wind power, and more.

Wind Energy in California, California Energy Commission
This site gives an overview of wind energy. Also visit the "Fast Facts" page, which gives wind facts in a table format.

What are solar heaters?

Solar Heating and You, EREN - DOE
This site explains how solar heating works, including descriptions of different types of solar collectors. It discusses why solar energy is an important resource.  Directions for making a solar air heater and a glossary of relevant terms are also available.

Passive Solar Heating, Cooling, and Day-lighting, EREN
Explore passive solar and day-lighting building designs such as large south-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun's heat.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy?

Forms of Alternative Energy, Univ. of Oregon
This site provides a list of the the advantages and disadvantages renewable energy resources.

IES Energy Cover Image
AGI/It's About Time
AGI's professional development programs for teachers are supported by generous contributions from corporate contributors of the American Geosciences Institute Foundation and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation.