This set of Solar Energy Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Depletion of Solar Radiation”.
1. What would happen if the sun’s radiation reaches the earth’s surface without depletion?
a) Life would cease to exist
b) Life would be more vibrant
c) The earth’s average global temperature would become stable
d) The average global temperature of earth would decrease
Explanation: If sun’s radiation reaches the earth’s surface without depletion, the average global temperature would increase to a point that life would cease to exist. Earth would become too hot to sustain any life form.
2. Which of the following plays a role in depletion of incoming solar radiation?
a) Irradiance of the incoming solar radiation
c) Solar flares
d) Nuclear fusion in sun
Explanation: Dispersion, scattering and absorption deplete the incoming solar radiation to an extent that biological and non-biological operations supporting life forms are not hindered. Nuclear fusion is the source of sun’s energy. Solar flares and irradiance of incoming solar radiation do deplete the solar radiation.
3. What is the inclination of earth’s axis in degrees?
Explanation: Earth’s axis is inclined at angle of 23.5 degrees. This inclination is with respect to the plane of earth’s orbit around the sun. After a cycle of about 40000 years, the tilt of the axis varies between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees.
4. How does the inclination of earth’s axis affect the incoming solar radiation?
a) All the solar radiation is concentrated around the equator
b) The radiation is distributed along the entire equator
c) All radiation is concentrated at the poles
d) Solar radiation is non-uniformly distributed throughout the earth’s surface
Explanation: The inclination of earth’s axis results in non-uniform distribution of incoming solar radiation throughout the earth’s surface. The radiation is received at varying angles of incidence depending on earth’s position.
5. What happens to those sun rays which are not perpendicular to earth’s surface?
a) Energy of the solar radiation is spread over a greater area
b) Energy of the solar radiation is concentrated on a single spot at the poles
c) Energy of the solar radiation is uniformly distributed along the Tropic of Cancer
d) Energy of the solar radiation depends on the position of prime meridian
Explanation: The sun rays which are not perpendicular to earth’s surface are spread over or dispersed a greater area. The energy of solar radiation is not dependent on the position of prime meridian and is never uniformly distributed due to inclination of earth’s axis.
6. When solar radiation is dispersed over a greater area, what happens to the net temperature?
a) The net temperature increases
b) The net temperature decreases
c) The net temperature is not affected
d) The net temperature monotonically increases forever
Explanation: When solar radiation is dispersed over a greater area, the net temperature is lower. This is because the amount of energy at any given point within the area decreases due to the spread.
7. Which of the following latitudes is significantly affected due to dispersion of insolation with seasons?
a) All latitudes are equally affected
b) Temperate zones are significantly affected
c) Polar areas
d) Tropical areas are significantly affected
Explanation: Dispersion of solar insolation with seasons affects all latitudes. However, the latitudes of polar regions are significantly affected. For instance, melting of ice caps due to large amounts of solar radiation concentrated at the poles.
8. What is scattering?
a) Spreading of solar radiation over large areas
b) Absorption of solar radiation by gaseous molecules
c) Absorption of outgoing long-wave radiation and re-emitting it back to the earth
d) Deflection of some wavelengths in all directions when passed through air
Explanation: Scattering is basically deflection of some wavelengths in all directions when passed through air, water droplets or small suspended dust particles in the atmosphere. Absorption of outgoing long-wave radiation and re-emitting it back to the earth traps the heat within earth. This is not related to scattering.
9. When the solar radiation is scatted by suspended particles in air, they act ______ and produce different colours.
a) like a prism
b) like a rock
c) like a mirror
d) like a solar concentrator
Explanation: When the solar radiation is scattered by suspended particles in air, they act like a prism and produce different colours. This action was shown by Newton in his prism experiment. A glass prism disperses the incident white light into its seven components. Note that a prism disperses white light and does not scatter it.
10. Red sun during sunrise and sunset is an example of ________
Explanation: Red sun during sunrise and sunset is an example of scattering. In fact, the blue colour of sky is also an example of scattering. Interference occurs when one type of radiation interacts with another.
11. What is reflection?
a) Bouncing back some portion of the incident radiation into another medium
b) Slowing down of light on entering another medium
c) Bouncing back some portion of the incident radiation into the same medium from which it came
d) Absorption by particles and re-emission of radiation of different frequencies
Explanation: Reflection is the process of bouncing back some portion of the incident radiation into the same medium from which it came. Since an ideal absorber does not exist, all substances reflect some amount of incident radiation.
12. Which among the following is the best reflector?
Explanation: Among the above options, snow is the best reflector. Snow reflects over 80% of the incident radiation (light). However, the ability to reflect depends on how dirty or clean the snow is.
13. Which of the following types of clouds has the highest albedo?
Explanation: Thich clouds such as stratocumulus reflect a large amount of incoming solar radiation. Hence, they have a high albedo. Thin clouds like cirrus tend to transmit most solar radiation and hence have low albedo.
14. Earth reflects about 36% of the incoming radiation.
Explanation: Earth reflects about 36-43% of the incoming solar radiation. The percent of reflectivity of all wavelengths on a surface is known as its albedo. So, earth has an albedo between 36-43%.
15. About quarter of the incoming solar radiation is scattered.
Explanation: About quarter of the incoming solar radiation is scattered or diffused. This significantly spreads the energy over greater areas and reduces effects on a single location.
Sanfoundry Global Education & Learning Series – Solar Energy.
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