Modeling Solar Radiation at the Earth’s Surface

Uncertainty and Characterization of Solar Radiometers

Every measurement only approximates the quantity being measured, and is incom­plete without a quantitative uncertainty. ISO defines uncertainty as:

A parameter, associated with the result of a measurement that characterizes the dispersion of the values that could reasonably be attributed to the measurand [the measured quantity].

Every element of a measurement system contributes elements of uncertainty. The Guide to Measurement Uncertainty (GUM) of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is presently the accepted guide for measurement uncertainty (BIPM 1995). The GUM defines Type-A uncertainty as derived from statistical methods, and Type-B sources as evaluated by “other means”, such as scientific judgment, experience, specifications, comparisons, or calibration data. These com­ponents of uncertainty are identified and combined in a rigorous manner to produce a standard, and eventually an expanded uncertainty reflecting the best estimate of uncertainty in a measurement parameter.

Various sources of uncertainty are reviewed in the next subsections. These in­depth developments largely result from recent investigations.

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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