Evaporative Cooler

How can the cooling effect of evaporating water be used for air conditioning?

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Requirements

Explore the concept of evaporative cooling through a hands-on experiment. Use a wet cloth and fan to model an air-conditioner and use temperature and relative humidity sensors to collect data. Then digitally plot the data using graphs in the activity. In an optional extension, make your own modifications to improve the cooler's efficiency.

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WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

Subject
Earth and Space Science

Focus Area
Probeware

Grade Level
Middle School

License
CC BY 4.0

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

3. The Nature of Technology

3B. Design and Systems
  • 3B/M4b. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that the most common ways to prevent failure are pretesting of parts and procedures, overdesign, and redundancy.

4. The Physical Setting

4B. The Earth
  • 4B/M7*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow, and falls again to the surface. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes, soil, and porous layers of rock, and much of it flows back into the oceans. The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere is a significant aspect of the weather patterns on Earth.
4E. Energy Transformations
  • 4E/M2*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
  • 4E/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that thermal energy is transferred through a material by the collisions of atoms within the material. Over time, the thermal energy tends to spread out through a material and from one material to another if they are in contact. Thermal energy can also be transferred by means of currents in air, water, or other fluids. In addition, some thermal energy in all materials is transformed into light energy and radiated into the environment by electromagnetic waves; that light energy can be transformed back into thermal energy when the electromagnetic waves strike another material. As a result, a material tends to cool down unless some other form of energy is converted to thermal energy in the material.
  • 4E/M4*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. Elastic energy is associated with the stretching or compressing of an elastic object. Chemical energy is associated with the composition of a substance. Electrical energy is associated with an electric current in a circuit. Light energy is associated with the frequency of electromagnetic waves.

8. The Designed World

8B. Materials and Manufacturing
  • 8B/M2*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that manufacturing usually involves a series of steps, such as designing a product, obtaining and preparing raw materials, processing the materials mechanically or chemically, and assembling the product. All steps may occur at a single location or may occur at different locations.
8C. Energy Sources and Use
  • 8C/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that transformations and transfers of energy within a system usually result in some energy escaping into its surrounding environment. Some systems transfer less energy to their environment than others during these transformations and transfers.
  • 8C/M8** (SFAA). By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that people have invented ingenious ways of deliberately bringing about energy transformations that are useful to them.

11. Common Themes

11A. Systems
  • 11A/M1. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that a system can include processes as well as things.
  • 11A/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.
  • 11A/M3. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that any system is usually connected to other systems, both internally and externally. Thus a system may be thought of as containing subsystems and as being a sub-system of a larger system.
11B. Models
  • 11B/H5** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="">The Concord Consortium. Evaporative Cooler. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, September 23.</a>

AIP
Evaporative Cooler (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

AJP
Evaporative Cooler (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, September 23), WWW Document, (https://concord.org/).

APA
Evaporative Cooler. (2010, September 23). Retrieved 2017, February 28, from The Concord Consortium: https://concord.org/

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 30 and above), Safari (versions 7 and above), Firefox (version 30 and above), Internet Explorer (version 10 or higher), and Microsoft's Edge.

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Innovative Technology in Science InquiryThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry project.

Grade Level
Middle School
Subject
Earth and Space Science
Focus Area
Probeware
Rating
0
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