Switched on Schools

Switched on Schools Glossary

Active solar energy
Capturing the energy from the Sun using solar panels to provide us with electricity or hot water.

Biomass is anything that is alive – all plant and animals on the Earth.

You probably have one of these at home to help keep your house warm…it will heat up your radiators and hot water for a bath.

A hole dug deep in the ground to help us to take out heat for a ground source heat pump.

Carbon Footprint
Measure of our impact on the environment.

Cavity Wall
The space between the inside wall and outside wall in a building – it can be filled with polystyrene balls to help keep the heat in.

Barrier to stop water flowing.

Eco Energy Tariff
Eco Energy is electricity which is supplied from wind farms in Northern Ireland – Eco Energy is available for homes.

Energy is the power that makes things work. There are lots of different forms of energy.

A body of water which has one or more streams or rivers flowing into it – it eventually flows into the sea.

Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are coal, oil and gas, which were formed deep in the Earth millions of years ago – we can use them to provide heat and electricity.

What gives us our energy - food is an example of a fuel which gives us energy so that we can play and go to school.

Energy from the centre of the Earth which can be used to provide heat.

Greenhouse Effect
This is the burning of fossil fuels, which release the carbon stored in them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is harmful and acts like a blanket around the earth, keeping the heat in.

Ground Loop
This is made up of lengths of pipe buried in the ground which helps to move heat from the ground to a building.

Heat Pump
A fridge is an example of a heat pump but a ground source heat pump can take heat from the ground to provide heating in our homes and schools.

Hot water jacket
A cosy jacket for a hot water cylinder which keeps the water warm.

Latin for ‘Water’

Passive solar energy
This is simply using the heat from the Sun without having to change anything at home or at school – the heat from the Sun which comes in through windows is an example of passive solar energy.

Plants take the energy from the sunlight to change carbon dioxide into oxygen which is released into the atmosphere.

Reflector Panels
A silver panel which you put down the back of your radiators to help move the heat back into the room.

Renewable Energy
Energy that will never run out – it is clean, free and safer for the environment.

A place where anything is collected, like water.

Solar energy
‘Solar’ is the Latin word for Sun so solar energy means energy from the Sun.

Solar photovoltaic cells (or PV for short!)
These use the energy from the Sun to make electricity for your home or school.

A device to burn wood pellets in and heat a room.

A tree which can be used to provide energy – it grows quickly so is a good source of renewable energy.

Wind Farm
A group of wind turbines – sometimes just one or two but it can be as many as 150.

Wind turbines
Wind turbines are the opposite of fans that you use to keep you cool - instead of using electricity to make wind, a wind turbine uses the wind to make electricity.