Vocational school teachers have reported that it is highly inefficient to theoretically impart the technical functionalities and the inter-dependencies of the different components of complex heating systems. HeatingSim shall thus allow students to infer the technical functionalities and the inter-dependencies of the different components through their own exploration.
the great aim of education is not knowledge but action
For this project, the text book scheme of a solar heating system for heating technicians has served as a template for the design of an interactive simulation. The simulation allows the user to change the size of the main components of such a system (i.e. collector size, register size & tank size) and observe the impact on its functioning.
The apprentices were asked to adapt the settings of a malfunctioning heating system for it to produce enough warm water throughout the day (in a first task without water consumption, in a second task with water consumption). In order to find the right relation between the sizes of the main components of the system (water tank, register and collector), the simulations allows to compare temperature plots of all the measuring points in the system with different settings. According to their observations, the learners can deduce the general requirements for a solar heating system to function properly.