Solar panels: modelling and data analysis

In this maths topic students will explore the modelling and data analysis behind the Land Rover BAR team's solar panel array during the 35th America's Cup. Over two lessons, they will use the blueprint of the base’s roof to design the array and analyse real data to evaluate the energy produced.

Use the film to discuss the motivations behind the team’s decision to install solar panels, the impact it has and the ways they monitor its efficiency and effectiveness. 

The class-facing presentations provide clear lessons with differentiated worksheets to reinforce the curriculum-linked learning objectives.

The resources in BT STEM Crew can be used either in sequence or flexibly.

FILM

This film introduces the use of solar panels as a renewable, sustainable way of producing electricity. Using Land Rover BAR’s 35th America's Cup base in Portsmouth, it explores the factors surrounding choosing and installing solar panels. This includes the modelling required to maximise the area covered by solar panels and the data analysis that is used to understand the technology’s effectiveness and impact.

LESSON 1

During the construction of the Land Rover BAR base for the 35th America's Cup, a solar panel array was designed and installed. Students put themselves in the shoes of a Renewable Energy Consultant to design a solar array for the roof of the base.

LESSON 1: PRESENTATION

Including teacher notes

Download PPT

LESSON 1: WORKSHEET 1

11-14

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LESSON 1: WORKSHEET 2

11-14 higher

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LESSON 1: WORKSHEET 3

14-16

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BASE BLUEPRINT

An A3 printable copy of the base blueprint

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LESSON 2

The Land Rover BAR base has a fantastic solar array on the roof. To ensure they understand how well it works under different conditions, students help them analyse the data they have collected about the amount of electricity produced.

LESSON 2: PRESENTATION

Including teacher notes

Download PPT

LESSON 2: WORKSHEET 1

11-14

Download PDF

LESSON 2: WORKSHEET 2

11-14 higher

Download PDF

LESSON 2: WORKSHEET 3

14-16

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CURRICULUM LINKS

LESSON 1

England

KS3 NC Maths

Ratio, proportion and rates of change

  • Model situations mathematically
  • Change freely between related standard units [for example time, length, area, volume/capacity, mass]
  • Use scale factors, scale diagrams and maps
  • Draw, measure and interpret scale drawings
  • Calculate areas of composite shapes
  • Understand that a multiplicative relationship between two quantities can be expressed as a ratio or a fraction
  • Relate the language of ratios and the associated calculations to the arithmetic of fractions and to linear functions

Geometry and measures

  • Calculate and solve problems involving: perimeters of 2-D shapes and composite shapes

Working mathematically

  • Solve problems: begin to model situations mathematically and express the results using a range of formal mathematical representations

KS4 NC Maths

  • Compare lengths, areas and volumes using ratio notation and/or scale factors; make links to similarity
  • Calculate and solve problems involving areas of composite shapes
  • Convert between related compound units
  • Interpret and use fractional (and negative) scale factors for enlargements
  • Interpret plans
  • Calculate surface areas

GCSE Mathematics

AQA

  • R1 Change freely between related standard units
  • R2 Use scale factors, scale diagrams and maps 

Edexcel

  • R1 Change freely between related standard units (e.g. time, length) and compound units (e.g. speed) in numerical and algebraic contexts
  • R2 use scale factors, scale diagrams and maps
  • G14 use standard units of measure and related concepts (length, area, volume/capacity, mass, time, money, etc.)

OCR

  • 10.01c Use the scale of a map, and work with bearings. Construct and interpret scale drawings.

 

Wales

KS3 Maths

  • Use ratio and proportion to calculate quantities, including cases where the ‘total’ is not given

 

Scotland

Third Level Maths – Curriculum for Excellence

Scale drawings: word problems

  • Use a formula to calculate the area of a shape

 

Northern Ireland

KS3 Maths

  • Recognise the need for scales and when to use them
  • Identify suitable scales and scale ratios for plans and maps
  • Use scales and scale ratios to read a map and calculate actual distances
  • Understand terms such as plan, scale and ratio

LESSON 2

 

England

KS3 NC Maths

  • Move freely between different numerical, algebraic, graphical and diagrammatic representations
  • Describe simple mathematical relationships between two variables
  • Construct and interpret appropriate tables, charts, and diagrams, including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, and pictograms for categorical data, and vertical line (or bar) charts for ungrouped and grouped numerical data

KS4 NC Maths

  • Plot and interpret graphs
  • Interpret and construct tables and line graphs for time series data
  • Interpret diagrams for grouped discrete data and continuous data
  • Interpret, analyse and compare the distributions of data sets from univariate empirical distributions

GCSE Mathematics

AQA

  • S2 Interpret and construct tables, charts and diagrams, including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts and pictograms for categorical data, vertical line charts for ungrouped discrete numerical data, and know their appropriate use
  • Interpret, analyse and compare the distributions of data sets from univariate empirical distributions

Edexcel

  • S2 Interpret and construct tables, charts and diagrams, including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts and pictograms for categorical data, vertical line charts for ungrouped discrete numerical data, tables and line graphs for time series data and know their appropriate use

OCR

  • 12.02a Interpret and construct charts appropriate to the data type; including frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts and pictograms for categorical data, vertical line charts for ungrouped discrete numerical data
  • 12.03c Interpret correlation within the context of the variables, and appreciate the distinction between correlation and causation

 

Wales

KS3 Maths

  • Interpret diagrams and graphs (including pie charts)
  • Construct and interpret graphs and diagrams (including pie charts) to represent discrete or continuous data, with the learner choosing the most appropriate representation
  • Interpret mathematical information; draw inferences from graphs, diagrams and data, including discussion on limitations of data

 

Scotland

Third Level Maths

  • Complete a table for a two-variable relationship
  • Scale drawings: word problems 

 

Northern Ireland

KS3 Maths

  • Present content data using suitable charts and tables
  • Use correlation to determine what relationship variables have with one another
  • Solve word problems involving two-variable equations
  • Complete a table for a two-variable relationships