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Homework Help: Maximum Energy/Solar Panel

  1. Jul 17, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The average intensity of sunlight at the top of the earth's atmosphere is 1390 W/m2. What is the maximum energy that a 10 m multiplied by 45 m solar panel could collect in one hour in this sunlight?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I multiplied average density x area of the solar panel, and got 625500W that are gathered by the panel at one time. From here i did:(v of light x 3600s)x 625500w, but this just gave me an enormous number. what else can i do here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Your big number is in units of watts and seconds. What can watt-seconds be converted to? Is that possibly some form of energy measurement?
  4. Jul 18, 2008 #3
    I agree with your calculation of the maximum power the solar panel can recieve.

    Am I right in thinking you multiplied this by the speed of light? If so this would make your calculation of the energy incorrect, if you included the units on the velocity it would be clear that your equation doesn't result in an energy. You were really close though...
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