Light Source Efficiency: Exploring Irradiance

Solar Mobile
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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Using a Vernier Pyranometer, students will measure electromagnetic radiation in watts per square meter (W/m2 ).

  2. Students will compare Sunlight irradiance with various indoor lighting options.

  3. Students will make a recommendation as to the optimum indoor lighting for powering solar panels. 

Lesson Number:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Files Associated with this Activity:

This lesson explores the concept of irradiance by having students use a Vernier Pryanometer. Using the “Light Source Efficiency” worksheet to guide their work, students measure irradiance as compared to the Sun’s irradiance to see what would be the best light source for powering their solar mobile indoors. This can be done as a demonstration or at a station if you only have one LabQuest2 and Pyranometer. 

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
2-Volt, 500mA Solar Modules
Vernier LabQuest 2
Vernier Pyranometer
Other Material(s) Used:
Various lights (fluorescent light, halogen light, incandescent lights, light-emitting, diodes)