National Solar Radiation Database

The National Solar Radiation Database contains 30 years (1961-1990) of solar radiation and supplementary meteorological data, and hourly solar radiation and meteorological data for 237 National Weather Service sites in the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Also includes maps of the monthly amounts of solar power that could be generated with various solar collectors.

Surface Radiation Budget Network

Seven stations continuously collecting solar, infrared, meteorology, and ultraviolet radiation data are located in climatologically diverse regions of the U.S.—including Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

Integrated Surface Irradiance Study (ISIS) Network

Solar and ultraviolet radiation (UV) data recorded from 1995-2001 for nine sites located in California, Florida, New Mexico, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) Solar Energy Forecast

The LAPS system produces rapidly updated, high-resolution analyses and forecasts of solar radiation. The cloud analysis uses satellite, METARs, radar, aircraft, and model first guess information to produce an hourly 3-D field of cloud fraction, cloud liquid, and cloud ice. The cloud analysis and satellite data together are used to produce a gridded analysis of total solar radiation. 

Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series

The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, gives a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The series covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.

Students investigate passive solar building design with a focus on heating. Insulation, window placement, thermal mass, surface colors, and site orientation are addressed in the background materials and design preparation. Students test their projects for thermal gains and losses during a simulated day and night then compare designs with other teams for suggestions for improvements.

Student teams design and build solar water heating devices that mimic those used in residences to capture energy in the form of solar radiation and convert it to thermal energy. In this activity, students gain a better understanding of the three different types of heat transfer, each of which plays a role in the solar water heater design. Once the model devices are constructed, students perform efficiency calculations and compare designs.

This video segment explores whether, in principle, renewable energy resources could meet today's global energy needs of about 15.7 terawatts.

This engaging video focuses on national and global wind energy potential by specifically highlighting Texas' role as wind energy leader and energy efficiency efforts in Houston, Texas.

In this activity, students construct a Global Warming Wheel Card, a hand-held tool that they can use to estimate their household's emissions of carbon dioxide and learn how they can reduce them. One side of the wheel illustrates how much carbon dioxide a household contributes to the atmosphere per year through activities such as driving a car, using energy in the home, and disposing of waste. The other side shows how changes in behavior can reduce personal emissions.

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