Sun Angle Experiment

Purpose

To confirm that the intensity of solar radiation striking a surface depends on sun angle.

Procedure

  1. Outfit a lamp with a 100 watt Sylvania Daylight Bulb and shine it on a homemade pyranometer at a 62° angle, which is the angle of the sun on Calgary's summer equinox. Using a digital voltmeter, measure how much energy is registered by the pyranometer.
  2. Repeated with the Daylight Bulb shining at a 15° angle, which is the correct angle for Calgary's winter equinox. Again, use a digital volt meter to measure how much energy is registered by the pyranometer.

NOTE: The pyranometer was homemade, using a photovoltaic cell which converts solar energy into power. Using a voltmeter connected to the pyranometer provides an energy reading in volts. The volt reading is converted to a measure of solar energy called insolation by multiplying the volts measurement by 5,000 to get watts/square meter.

Findings

I confirmed that the solar radiation striking Calgary is about three times greater in summer than winter.

Sun Angles

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