Water Tank Insulator By. Megan Davey, Stephen Kane, and Gavin Wilks
Introduction • This experiment was conducted to see which insulator would insulate water tanks the best. • To determine a good insulator, common materials were tested as insulators on water bottles and compared to a non-insulated water bottle. • The materials used were Styrofoam, cotton and paper.
Background Information • Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. • Keeping the tanks insulated would reduce the electricity cost.
Community Relevance • An insulator with common supplies is wanted. • This is good to the community because this will determine if buying expensive insulators are worth it or not. • Buying a cheap insulation system could possibly save you a lot of money in the end.
Problem • Our problem was that water tanks lose heat due to no insulation, which would cause extra money to be spent heating it back up. • We tried to figure out in our experiment which material would work the best as an insulator and also be environmentally friendly.
Hypothesis • Hypothesis: If separate water bottles are insulated with Styrofoam, paper and cotton and compared to a controlled group, then Styrofoam will work the best as an insulator.
Experiment • In our experiment we tested three cheap insulated materials which were cotton, paper and Styrofoam. • We tested to see which would work as the best insulator. • Data measured: Temperature - Degrees Fahrenheit
Materials • Funnel • Plastic Bag • 60 oz. of water • Metal Pot • Masking tape • NuovaII Hot plate • Water bottles (4) • Electric thermometer • Cotton fabric(3cm) • Paper (3cm) • Styrofoam packing peanuts (3cm)
Diagram 60oz. of Water Styrofoam packing peanuts Cotton Paper Nuova II Hot plate Metal Pot • Water bottles (4) • Funnel Masking Tape Electric Thermometer
Procedure • Heat a pot filled with 60 oz. of water to 100°F using a hot plate. • Get four 16.9 FL OZ water bottles. • Put three centimeters thick of Styrofoam packing peanuts in a plastic bag. • Cover one water bottle with the plastic bag full of three centimeters thick of Styrofoam packing peanuts. • Cover one water bottle with three centimeters thick of cotton fabric.
Procedure Continued 6. Cover one water bottle with three centimeters of paper. 7. Leave one water bottle alone. 8. Remove cap from water bottles and fill each bottle up with 15 OZ of 100°F water using a funnel. 9. Leave all four water bottles in a room temperature place.
Procedure Continued 10. Every two minutes take the temperature of each water bottle using an electric thermometer. Record data. 11. After 30 minutes record the last part of data and stop recording the temperature. 12. Put all materials away and throw away the water bottles. 13. Compare the data, and decide which insulator would work the best.
Data Collected • The table below is the average of our data during the experiment.
Graph • The graph below shows the average temperature differences of all 4 bottles. • This proves our hypothesis correct because the Styrofoam insulated bottle was the warmest at the end and the bottle with no insulation was the coolest
Error • The only error in the experiment was when the paper insulated water bottle was left too close to the hot plate in the 2ndtest. • Some water bottles had a slight amount more of water because we couldn’t measure exactly how many ounces were in each bottle.
Conclusion • After analyzing the data, the hypothesis was accepted. • 4 water bottles were tested using insulation to see which works best. • The materials used were Styrofoam cotton and paper. • Styrofoam worked as the best insulator in all 3 tests.
Further Research • Test different materials such as fiberglass. • Test the types of insulation for a longer period of time. • Use more water so results would be closer to an actual water tank. • Run more trials.
Works Cited • http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Energyandwatersaving/Homeinsulation/DG_195169 • http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2012/06/05/insulate-your-water-heater-156365/ • http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/energy-efficient/4217068 • http://www.realtor.com/home-garden/do-it-yourself/plumbing/insulate-water-heater.aspx?source=web • http://www.cornerhardware.com/index.php?main_page=howto&f=ht063 • http://www.carolinacountry.com/index.php/your-energy/energy-efficiency-tips/item/does-a-water-heater-insulation-blanket-save-money • http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/2004-17_HEB5WaterHeating • http://www.uptenergy.com/how-wrapping-your-water-heater-helps-to-save-energy/ • http://www.iwilltry.org/b/projects/super-insulate-your-hot-water-tank/ • http://southcoastenergychallenge.org/insulate-hot-water-tank