Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Solar Panel Output: Effect of Shade

Figure from experiment 6 from Investigating Solar Energy

Introduction

Some days it is very sunny all day—there are no clouds in the sky, and it is very bright. In these conditions, lots of sunlight reaches the solar panels.

Other days it is cloudy. The sky might be completely covered in clouds or clouds may pass in front of the sun on and off during the day. Less sunlight reaches the solar panels on cloudy days.

Other things that could shade solar panels would be large trees next to houses or buildings. Do you think shade caused by trees or clouds will affect the power output of solar panels? In this experiment, you will use the Energy Sensor to help you answer this question.

Objectives

  • Set up the data-collection equipment.
  • Measure the power output of three Solar Panels with a Vernier Energy Sensor.
  • Use data-collection software to calculate mean (average) values.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Investigating Solar Energy

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Introduction to Solar Panels
2Exploring Solar Energy
3Introduction to the Vernier Energy Sensor
4Making Connections: Circuits
5Solar Panel Output: Effect of Load
6Solar Panel Output: Effect of Shade
7Solar Panel Output: Effect of Angle
8Pumping Water with Solar Energy
9Exploring Surface Temperature
10Project: Solar Homes
11Project: What's Cookin'?

Experiment 6 from Investigating Solar Energy Lab Book

<i>Investigating Solar Energy</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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