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, 1981b; Davies, McKay 1982; Gueymard 1993, 2008). These models can be compared with clear-sky measured data to de­termine if measured data deviate significantly from “expected” data.

Satellite-based remote sensors and the development of algorithms for estimating the solar flux at the surface has also lead to the possibility of using satellite-based estimates to evaluate the performance of ground-based sensors (Perez et al. 1997, 2002; Myers 2005). An example of a web-based means of evaluating ground-based measurements with respect to estimates derived from satellite data has been de­scribed (Geiger et al. 2002).

Of course, in all cases, model inputs or flux estimation algorithms have to be relatively accurate, and there must still be tolerances on measured data to account for possible instrumentation bias errors, as well as an idea of the additional sources of uncertainty in the models and algorithms themselves (Gueymard and Myers 2007).

Modeling Solar Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

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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