Students’ e-lesson: Mouchot and the exploitation of solar energy.

Introduction

Welcome to this e-lesson about Mouchot and the exploitation of solar energy.

In this e-course lesson:

  • You will enjoy a story about solar ovens and solar steam engines.
  • You will realize the social problem that Mouchot’s research tried to solve by inventing the solar oven and solar steam engine i.e. to secure the supply of steam engines with fuel.
  • You will realize that science is advanced through research. Science and technology are human activities and as such are affected by social and cultural circumstances.
  • You will learn basic vocabulary about solar ovens.
  • You will find connections between Mouchot’s research and modern devices.

 

 

This e-lesson has six activities that require approximately 90 minutes to complete. In the beginning of each activity you will read what you are going to learn and the time required to complete it. However, if you feel interested in the topic presented here you will find initial resources to further your studies. All activities have enough space to write in if you print them.

 

1st Activity: Getting to know Mouchot and his solar ovens.

When you finish this activity you will have learned the story of the Augustin Mouchot on the development of solar ovens.

Time required:  15΄

You will watch a video with a narration about the work of Augustin Mouchot on the development of solar ovens and solar steam engines.

 

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2nd Activity:

This activity will help you to locate the characters within the story of Mouchot and the exploitation of solar energy and also to attribute them with a characteristic you find appropriate.

Time required:  15΄

Write down the names of the characters involved and find an adjective that you think is suitable for each character of the story.

Names of characters

Adjective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which is a picture of Mouchot?  You may use the internet to identify him. 

 

 

 

 

3rd Activity:

This activity will help you summarise the story of Mouchot and the exploitation of solar energy.

Time required:  15΄

Try to write the answers to the following activities. You may go back to the video or the text of the story whenever you need it.

Note with a sentence the beginning (1), the middle (2), and the end (3) of the story.

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

 

Which is the turning point in this story?

 

beginningmiddleendgif.gif

 

 

4th Activity:

This activity will help you think how science is influenced by historical, cultural, and social factors. This is an essential idea about the Nature of Science.

Time required:  15΄

 

 
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Write two reasons that motivated Mouchot to start researching for an invention that would exploit the energy of the sun.

 

Please think about the reasons for which the French Government stopped financing the research of Mouchot and write them down.

 

 
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5th Activity:

This activity will help you learn some of the principles of operation of a solar oven, as well as the fact that the angle of incidence and reflection are equal.

Time required:  10΄

 From the list below, select the appropriate words to fill in the blanks in the sentences below that describe the principles of the operation of a modern solar oven.

a black, reflection of, deflection of, a white, Greenhouse, Butterfly

a) ............................ light
b) Absorption of light in ....................... body .
c) ............................... effect.

 

Draw one sun beam (from the sun) towards the mirror lid of the solar oven below. Be careful to draw correctly the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection which are equal.

6th Activity:

This activity will help you learn the parts of a modern solar oven and find similarities with the one Mouchot presented at the 1878 Paris exhibition.

Time required:  20΄

Place in the image below (image from Solar Cooker Review, November 2009, volume 15, number 3) the following parts of a solar oven.

PhotoP2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you can look for the similarities with the original device built from Mouchot for which he won the first prize in the 1878 Paris exhibition. The conical mirror had a diameter of some five meters, and the engine could be used as a printing device and was also able to produce ice.

 In the balloon, write down ways in which solar ovens are used today. Use the internet to find information.

 

Further Study

Solar Cooker Review, November 2009, volume 15, number 3 available online at: http://www.solarcooking.org/newsletters/scrnov09.htm)

A video in the following link for solar steam engine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTvAL7ty53M&feature=player_embedded#at=23

The 19th Century Solar Engines of Augustin Mouchot, Abel Pifre, and John Ericsson http://landartgenerator.org/blagi/archives/2004

Constructing your own solar oven. Please search for information to construct your solar oven (e.g. websites, your school library e.t.c.)

 

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