Which areas of the country are most likely to produce solar energy?
The solar energy data used in this lesson is gathered from various polar orbiting and geostationary weather satellites. The satellites measure the rate of transfer of solar energy (measured in watts) per unit area (measured in square meters or m2) as the radiation is reaching the surface of Earth. More solar energy that reaches the surface provides more electrical energy for the solar cell.
Students explore data for sample locations around the United States to determine the solar radiation available for use with a solar cell. Each student then explores parts of the United States in which they want to live, using solar energy to power their home. Through graphic analysis, students identify locations that will produce enough solar radiation to meet their living requirements. Throughout this module, students graph and analyze the same data as NASA scientists. This current relevant data will give students a better understanding of our world.
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