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Solar Energy Basics II - Estimation of Solar Radiation to a Solar Panel

Harlan H. Bengtson, Ph.D., PE

The type of solar radiation data typically needed for planning and design of solar installations is the rate striking a solar panel or solar collector at a specified location, often as monthly averages. Such data is available for a number of standard collector/panel configurations and tilt angles, from a variety of print and on-line sources. Three sources of solar radiation data from the Renewable Resource Data Center (RREDC), a unit of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are discussed in this course. The types and formats of data available from that website will be described, details for obtaining the data from the website will be given, interpretation of the data will be discussed, and examples of retrieving data will be presented.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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