PV Lab Exercise

This lab exercise is worth 10 points.

The following link will open in a separate window. Use the tabs to come back here. Click Here to open the Solar Position Calculator. You will need to make the following adjustments to the calculator:

Scroll to the top of the "City" list and click on "Enter Lat/Long".

Change the latitude to 43 degrees, 0 minutes and 0 seconds.

Change the longitude to 82 degrees, 24 minutes and 30 seconds.

This spot is located just north of the Blue Water Bridge near the flag plaza on the U.S. side.

Change the Time Zone Offset to "5".

Click "No" for Daylight Savings Time.

1a. Enter November 4, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". Take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180 (this is called solar noon). You will need to adjust the hours, minutes and seconds to do this. Be sure the click "Calculate" after making your changes each time. Write this exact time down for your answer to #1a.

1b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 1a? (This is the number of degrees that the sun is above the southern horizon at that exact moment).

2a. Enter February 10, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". Again, take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180 (solar noon). Write this exact time down for your answer to #2a.

2b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 2a? (Again, this is the number of degrees that the sun is above the southern horizon at that exact moment).

3a. Enter March 20, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". This is the March Equinox. Again, take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180. Write this exact time down for your answer to #3a.

3b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 3a?

4a. Enter June 21, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". This is the June Solstice when the sun is highest in the sky in Port Huron. Again, take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180. Write this exact time down for your answer to #4a.

4b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 4a?

5a. Enter September 22, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". This is the September Equinox. Again, take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180. Write this exact time down for your answer to #5a.

5b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 5a?

6a. Enter December 21, 2009 for the date and click "Calculate". This is the December Solstice when the sun is lowest in the sky in Port Huron. Again, take a look at the "Azimuth" number and adjust the time so that the Azimuth = 180. Write this exact time down for your answer to #6a.

6b. What is the solar elevation for the exact time you listed in 6a?

7a. Click Here and and take a look at the image of the earth. You are currently looking at the lit portion of the earth (real time) and the latitude/longitude numbers represent the sub-solar point or the exact location where the sun is shining at a 90 degree angle to the surface of the earth right now. What direction would the earth be rotating on your screen (left or right). You know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Remember that you are looking at the earth from the sun. Write left or right for your answer to 7a.

7b. Where is the sun setting right now? (list at least one continent or ocean). Also tell me the current time in Port Huron as you write your answer so that I can determine if your answer is correct.

7c. Where is the sun rising right now? (list at least one continent or ocean). Also tell me the current time in Port Huron as you write your answer so that I can determine if your answer is correct.

8. What is the precise declination of the sun right now? Remember that declination is only the latitude number of the sub-solar point.

9. Click Here to access a solar PV calculator. First, click on the state of Michigan (on the U.S. map) and then click on the city of Flint. Once here (don't change any values on this page), scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Calculate".

a. How many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of AC energy are they indicating you could produce in a year in Flint, Michigan?

b. How much solar radiation (kWh per square meter per day) hits the ground in Flint, Michigan? Give the yearly average at the bottom of the table.

c. What month of the year has the highest solar radiation and what month of the year has the highest AC energy? Why are they different? Click Here to read about one possible answer.

10. Click the BACK button three times and you should be at the U.S. map again. Click on Florida and then click on Tampa to answer the same questions as 9a. and 9b. above.

11. Click the BACK button three times and you should be at the U.S. map again. Click on Arizona and then click on Tuscon to answer the same questions as 9a. and 9b. above.

Feel free to play around with this calculator on your own.

THE END