Judge the usefulness of data for answering a variety of questions about solar energy in B.C.
Students analyze solar energy data to determine its usefulness for answering a variety of questions.
Students will need to understand central tendency and standard deviation to successfully complete this lesson.
Solar insolation is a measure of sunlight in solar energy over a given area. It has units of kWh/m2 or full sun hours (h)). A sun-hour is a measure of electrical energy that can be produced by 1m2 of solar panel. The solar energy received when the sun is directly overhead is more intense than when the sun is on the horizon.
The amount of sunlight received by a solar panel is measured by the amount of energy the panel can produce in peak sun-hours. Peak sun-hours are not the same as hours of daylight. Peak sun-hours refers to how much sun exposure is usable for efficient energy production in an area during a typical day. A peak sun-hour is an hour during which the intensity of sunlight is 1,000 watts per square metre or 1 kilowatt per square metre.
Use this online peak sun hour calculator as a tool to calculate peak sun time.
Solar energy is an affordable alternative energy that can be used to help heat and power your home, school, or business. However, there are some important considerations around the use of both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in British Columbia that you should be aware of. Check out bchydro.com for more information regarding the practicality of solar energy in our province.
Throughout the activity, assess your students’ abilities to:
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