Wind and Solar Power Estimation Activities

SEREF, the Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation, has built a couple of tools that could be of interest to science teachers. SEREF has an energy estimation tool that allows you to estimate the potential solar and wind energy of any location. To use the estimation tool you have to enter your location using a Google Map and input the size of the solar panels or wind turbine stucture. The potential energy is then calculated based on climate, latitude, and typical weather patterns.

SEREF has recently released a Google Earth file that illustrates an estimation of potential jobs in the solar energy industry between now and 2016. You can see the file in your browser here or download the file here.

Applications for Education
The SEREF energy estimator offers teachers and opportunity to create a lesson using science, mathematics, and geography concepts. Students can use the estimation tool to discover the solar and wind energy potential of their location then make and test a hypothesis about other locations. Students can also experiment with the size of solar panels and the angle to the sun to see what the potential change in energy would be.


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