Solar Thermal Collector Mk1 Experiment 1 Page

Link to Solar Thermal General Notes Page


The goal of this experiment is to practice setting up and running an experiment on my own in addition to trying to tie experimental results to theoretical learning.

This specific experiment will approximate the energy added to the bucket of water over the course of an hour.

Applicable Theory

(Collection of equations)

(Energy Harvested) => \dot{Q}_{c} = \dot{m}c_{p}(T_{f,o} - T_{f,i})

Need to do energy balances for control volumes to come up with some applicable theory

m_{tank}c\frac{dT}{dt} = -\dot{W}_{pump} + \dot{m}c(T_{in} - T_{tank})

Bucket Volume Calculation

Bucket Graphic

    For the experiments I decided to only fill up the bucket halfway. I am going to approximate the water volume by determining the volume of a cylinder with a radius matching the radius of the bucket at half of the water height (1/4 overall height). Thus the volume can be calculated by the following steps:

  1. Determine the angle \theta from the side wall to vertical
    • \theta = sin^{-1}(0.75/14.5) = 2.96^{\circ}
  2. Determine the radius at the half height of the water
    • d = 3.625 \; in * sin(2.96^{\circ}) = 0.187 \; in
    • R = 10.25 \; in / 2 + 0.187 \; in = 5.312 \; in
  3. Determine the vertical height of the water
    • H = 14.5 \; in / 2 * cos(2.96^{\circ}) = 7.24 \; in
  4. Solve the formula of volume of a cylinder
    • V = \pi R^{2} H = \pi (5.312 \; in)^{2} (7.24 \; in) = 641.8 \;  in^{3}

Slightly different result if halving the vertical height instead of the wall height


Will need a control test where just the bucket is used for the experiment


At beginning

During (5 min intervals)



Raw csv file

Graph of Control 1

Graph of Control 2

Graph of Control 3

Control Avg Graph

Graph of Experiment 1

Graph of Experiment 2

Graph of Experiment 3

Experiment Avg Graph

Chart comparing energy input between controls, experiments and averages

Conclusions and Observations