Modeling Solar Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

Distributions of Diffuse and Direct Components of Global Radiation

Research about the direct and diffuse components of the solar radiation is less pro­lific, mainly because of the scarce availability of such data. Moreover, most of the direct component analyses involve the use of data obtained from the differences between measured global and diffuse radiations. Lestienne’s works (1978, 1979) suggested the use of two different types of exponential functions for the daily be­haviour: one for cloudy days and the other for clear days. Stuart and Hollands (1988) analysed the shape of the hourly direct component suggesting a polynomial fit­ting for the cumulative distribution function. Later, Callegari et al. (1992) devel­oped a dynamical statistical analysis to reproduce daily direct solar component.

Skartveit and Olseth (1992) compared the global and direct instantaneous distri­butions, proposing some models for the PDFs of short-term (5-minutes) irradiances. These distributions are not unique functions of the hourly mean, but they depend on the averaging time and also on the inter-hourly variability among 3-hourly averages, namely, the hour of the study, the preceding and the following. Tovar et al. (1998b) continued their previous work and proposed some functions based on the Boltzmann statistic to explain the clearness index distributions. Regarding the diffuse compo­nent, the work is worthy of being mentioned by Suehrcke and McCormick (1988b). The results of this study have been used by Tovar et al. (1998b).

So far, the analyses of the solar radiation variability followed very different ap­proaches. Nevertheless, one shared pitfall for most of them is that they were carried out using local data bases. This implies that the proposed models are site depen­dent and new evaluations must be performed when using data sets from other lo­cations. Finally, it is worth to point out that the analysis devoted to the behaviour of the direct and diffuse components are still scarce. In the last years, these com­ponents are being investigated for some special spectral regions from the statistics point of view. For instance, among other works, the photosynthetically active region (PAR, 400-700 nm) have been studied by Ross et al. (1998) and Tovar-Pescador et al (2004), and the ultraviolet region (UV, 290-385 nm) was studied by Varo et al. (2005).

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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