Modeling Solar Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

A Research Survey on the Statistical Behaviour of Solar Radiation Components

We will shortly review here the most important studies on the statistical solar ra­diation behaviour, with special focus on those works that have produced impor­tant advances on solar radiation modelisation. Until relatively recently, most of the studies were focused on the daily distributions. Nevertheless, in the last years, the analysis of the instantaneous behaviour has given rise to a special consideration. This is because the need to use the instantaneous values in specific applications, as photovoltaic devices and estimation of erythemal doses, and the appreciable dif­ferences observed with regards to the monthly, daily and hourly distributions. Such differences must be specially taken in account in energy and biological applications, where the systems have a non-linear response and are very sensitive to the instanta­neous values.

Several studies on these topics have been carried out. The first results go back to the famous works of Angstrom (1924, 1956), who derived regression expressions for the different components of the daily solar radiation based on the sunshine du­ration. Other works, which are worth to point out are those of Black et al. (1954) and Glover and McCulloch (1958). These works revealed certain bimodality or, at least, a strong asymmetry in respect to the mean, as confirmed afterwards by sev­eral authors: Bennet (1965, 1967), Klink (1974a), Andretta et al. (1982), Barbaro etal. (1983).

Among the solar irradiation measurements, the daily global values have been, for a long period, the most frequently studied. Nevertheless, they have not adequately been analysed using statistical or even graphical methods. A previously suggested normalisation by the corresponding extraterrestrial irradiation values has recently become a customary practice. The monthly frequency distributions for many U. S. stations have been presented by Bennet (1967), showing a relative bimodality and skewness in the distributions. The monthly frequency distributions have also been studied by Klink (1974b) and Baker and Klink (1975), showing a negative skewness (or to the left), platycurtic and a tendency to bimodality.

Modeling Solar Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

Quality Assessment Based Upon Comparison with Models

Many models based on the physics of radiation transfer through the clear atmo­sphere have been developed (Lacis and Hansen 1974; Atwater and Ball 1978; Hoyt 1978; Bird and Hulstrom 1981a, …

Solar Horizontal Diffuse and Beam Irradiation on Clear Days

There exist a number of models to determine the solar horizontal diffuse irradia­tion on a clear day (Kondratyev 1969) but they are complex and have very stringent conditions. Similarly, there …


Reading the twenty chapters of this book caused me mixed reactions, though all were positive. My responses were shaped by several factors. Although I have main­tained a “watching brief’ on …

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