What is the difference in temperature between a surface in the sun as supposed to one in the shade and how is it calculated?

For instance: What will the temperature be if a metal sheet lies in the sun and then what will its temperature be if the same sheet lies in a shaded area?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You will need to provide a lot more details for this to be answerable. There is no simple rule of thumb or equation. $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Jul 6 '16 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Depending on how much you already know, this can actually be fairly straightforward. The problem being that you haven't given us much idea of how much you already know. Do you understand how to model the thermal circuit of the shaded surface - i.e., with convection and conduction? The ASHRAE Fundamentals handbook covers all of this pretty early on - here's a sample. But it's not light reading. $\endgroup$
    – Air
    Jul 6 '16 at 23:04

As Dr. Bad Science Ben Goldacre says, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that." It's not hard to dig up solar spectral power density data - which depends heavily on latitude and season, of course -- but how a "metal" sheet behaves depends on tons of parameters.
Different metals (elemental or mixtures) have different spectral absorptivities as well as specific heat (how much energy per unit volume per unit temperature change). Further, for example, a roughened surface may have a higher net absorption.
In summary, you'll need a lot more specific info, including sheet thickness.

In the shade, any material will reach thermal equilibrium with the local atmosphere.

  • $\begingroup$ I used Q/A=Epsilon_eff*sigma(T_1^4-T_2^4) and got the temperature on the surface. I found all the values for the other variables $\endgroup$
    – N. Burger
    Jul 7 '16 at 6:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.