SSH100: Solar Primer

This course is a basic introduction to using solar energy in your home. You’ll see how to keep your house warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, using just sunlight for fuel. You’ll also find out how to pasteurize water and cook food with the Sun. You’ll even see how to turn sunlight into electricity.

Usually we do these things by burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. But fossil fuels are running out, and burning them is hurting the environment. The Sun, however, is a non-polluting source of energy that should last for billions of years.

There are hands-on projects to build and experiment with, and several solar history examples. At the end of each unit is a short review quiz. Graduates receive a certificate of completion.


Module 1: Why Solar?
Module One starts by looking at the advantages of solar energy and why we’re studying this subject.


Module 2: Your Solar Home
In Module Two we’ll watch a 24 minute video on the basics of heating, cooling and powering your home with sunlight.


Module 3: Solar Ovens
Module Three presents solar cooking. We’ll briefly explore the principles behind cooking with the sun, and build a solar oven with a simple pizza box.

South Windows

Module 4: Passive Solar Design
Module Four reviews the principles of passive solar home design we saw in the Your Solar Home video. Some simple home design projects are included in this Module.


Module 5: Exploring Solar Electricity
In Module Five, we’ll explore solar electricity, and build hands-on projects using the Solar Schoolhouse Solar Cell Student Set.


Module 6: Building the Solar Whirlygig, Using the multimeter
Module Six has two final projects to hone our solar electricity skills: the Solar-Powered Whirlygig and the use of the Digital Multimeter.