What Time of Day is Solar Intensity Greatest?

What are Solar Energy and Solar Intensity? At which Angle do Sun Rays reach Earth? Where is Solar Energy Most Intense? Why is the Sun Most Intense near the Equator? What are Tropical Regions? 

Do you know who discovered the photovoltaic effect? A young physicist working in France, Edmond Becquerel observed and discovered the possibility of converting solar energy into electrical energy in 1839. Well, today we will discuss where is solar energy most intense. Have you ever given a thought to what time of day is solar intensity greatest? Let’s start and also find out where is the sunlight most intense during the day.

1. What is Solar Energy?

The radiation received from the sunlight is known as solar radiation. It is in the form of heat and can be converted into power. Also, check out how many suns are in the Universe?

2. What is Solar Intensity?

The density of solar radiation received by Earth per unit area of the photoelectric modules is known as solar intensity. Factors affecting the solar intensity are

  • Atmospheric conditions
  • Geographical location
  • Height of the sun above the horizon
  • Local landscape
  • Local weather
  • Season
  • Tilt of the measuring surface
  • Time of the day. (See 11 Facts about Sunrise and Sunset)

3. At which Angle do Sun Rays hit the Ground?

Photo by John Towner on Unsplash

The angle of incidence refers to the angle at which the rays hit the Earth’s surface. It is the angle between the normal angle (90°) and the ray of light coming from the sun. At different locations and times, the angle formed by the sun’s rays and the horizon is different and less than 90°. To get the answer to what time of day is solar intensity greatest, read the next segments. (See What is the Third Planet closest to the Sun?)

4. Where is Solar Energy Most Intense?

The place where the sun rays are falling straight without any diversion, that place will receive the most intense solar energy. This happens when the angle of the sun’s rays is larger and if the rays are not spreading. (See What Time does it get Dark?)

5. What Time of Day is Solar Intensity greatest?

At noon, the solar intensity is the greatest. It is that time when the angle of incidence of the sun rays is at 90°. This is the maximum angle at which Earth receives sunlight. At this point, the intensity of solar energy is 30% more than that in the evening. (See: In Which Direction does the Sun Set?)

6. Where is the Sunlight Most Intense during the Day?

The locations lying near the equator of the Earth tend to receive most of the sunlight during the day. This makes them the hotter regions too. Equatorial regions receive the most sunlight whereas the northern areas receive 40 percent less radiation than the equatorial regions. Considering these areas, you don’t have to ask what time of day is solar intensity greatest, because they are hot throughout the year. (See Does the Sun have Seasons?)

7. In Which Region is the Sunlight Most Intense during the Day?

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

The regions between 23.5° North of the Tropic of Cancer and 23.5° South of the Tropic of Capricorn of the Equator receive the most intense sunlight. These regions are always warm with temperatures ranging between 29° to 40°.  (See At What Time Does The Afternoon Finish And Evening Start?)

8. Why is the Sun Most Intense near the Equator?

When the sun rays hit the equator at 90° and the sun is straight overhead, they hit the point without dispersing, making the intensity of the sun most intense in these regions. Also, with this, the brightness of the sun is more, and these regions receive twice as much light in comparison to other regions. (See What is One Trip Around the Sun Called?)

9. How does Equinox affect Sunlight?

Equinox is the phenomenon when the duration of day and night is almost the same. It mostly falls on 21st March (Summer Equinox) and 23rd September (Winter Equinox). These days, the poles are not tilted towards the sun, making the sun rays straighter as they fall on the equator. This makes these regions hotter. (See What is the Vernal Equinox?)

10. How Intense is Sunlight near the Tropic of Capricorn?

On the 21st or 22nd of June (Southern Hemisphere) and 21st or 22nd of December (Northern Hemisphere) occurs the Winter solstice and on these days the sun shines brightly over the skies of the Tropic of Capricorn. The winter solstice is the day on which the poles of the Earth reach their maximum tilt away from the sun. (See How to Describe the Sun in Creative Writing?)

11. Which Countries receive the Most Sunlight?

Photo by Todd Rhines on Unsplash

The countries in the equatorial region receive the most sunlight and radiation. The continents through which the equator passes are: Africa, Asia, and South America. The following countries lie on the line of the equator:

12. Is the Sun always Highest during Noon?

Seasonal changes affect the location of the sun during noon as well as during other hours too. This happens because the orbit of the Earth is elliptical. At one point when the Earth is the closest to the sun, it receives 23 percent more solar radiation than on other days of the year. Noon may be the answer to what time of day is solar intensity greatest but not in every season. (See When do Days Start to get Longer?)

13. What is the Temperature of the Sun?

The sun is a hot ball of gases and immense heat and temperature. The surface temperature of the sun can reach up to 5,778 Kelvin (4726.85° Celsius). 

14. How is Solar Radiation measured?

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

The intensity of the solar radiation is measured by a pyranometer. W/sq.m is the unit used to denote the density within a wavelength range of 0.3 μm and 3 μm. In order to know what time of day is solar intensity greatest, you can use this device. (See How do Solar Powered Lights work?)

15. In the Southern Hemisphere, Which Direction receives the Most Sun?

If the region of the Southern Hemisphere is somewhere near the equator, it will receive considerably more sunlight in comparison to the regions that lie towards the pole.

16. What are the Tropical Regions?

The regions lying roughly in the middle of the Earth are termed Tropics. These regions fall between the Tropic of Cancer and the northern latitude as well as the regions between the southern latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn. (See What is the Difference between Tropical and Polar Regions?)

17. How Strong is the Sunlight in the Poles?

Towards the northern and the southern regions, the rays of the sun are mostly slanting. This is the reason why the temperatures in these regions are the lowest. The average temperature in winters can range between −40 to 0 °C (−40 to 32 °F) and sometimes below −50 °C (−58 °F). The average temperatures during summer in July range between −10 to 10 °C (14 to 50 °F) and as high as 30 °C (86°F). (See How many Hemispheres on Earth?)

So, this means that the peak intensity of solar energy is experienced during noon. Also, the equator is the place where is solar energy most intense during the day and night, and you don’t need to wonder why and what time of day is solar intensity greatest. It is time to ask your friends, where is the sunlight most intense during the day in their cities? (See Why do people like watching sunsets?)

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