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AVAILABLE SOLAR RADIATION

Part II

Prof. G.V. Fracastoro and Prof. M. Perino


DENERG Politecnico di Torino
C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino
If not otherwise specified, figures are taken from Solar
Engineering of Thermal Processes Duffie & Beckman

DEFINITIONS - 1
Beam Radiation b (Gb): is the solar radiation received from the sun without having been
scattered by the atmosphere (beam radiation is often referred to as direct solar radiation;
to avoid confusion between subscripts for direct and diffuse, we use the term beam
radiation, subscript b).
Diffuse Radiation d (Gd): is the solar radiation received from the sun after its direction has
been changed by scattering by the atmosphere (diffuse radiation is referred to, in some
meteorological literature, as sky radiation or solar sky radiation; the definition used here
will distinguish diffuse solar radiation from infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere.
Diffuse radiation, subscript d).

Total (Global) Solar Radiation (G): is the sum of beam and diffuse solar radiation on a
surface (the most common measurements of solar radiation are total radiation on a
horizontal surface. When we will make reference to total solar radiation we will not use any
subscript).

G = Gb + Gd

DEFINITIONS - 2
Irradiance, G [W/m2]: is the rate at which radiant energy (energy flux) is incident on a
surface per unit area of surface. The symbol G is used for solar irradiance, with appropriate
subscripts for beam (b), diffuse (d), or spectral radiation ().
Irradiation H [J/m2, kWh/m2]: is the incident energy per unit area on a surface, found by
integration of irradiance over a specified period (usually an hour or a day). Insolation is a
term applying specifically to solar energy irradiation. The symbol H is used for insolation for
a whole day. The symbol I is sometimes used for one hour
The symbols H and I can represent beam, or total and can be on surfaces of any orientation
(with their corresponding subscripts).
Subscripts on G, H, and I are as follows:
o refers to radiation above the earth's atmosphere, referred to as extraterrestrial
radiation,
b and d refer, respectively, to beam and diffuse radiation;
T (or ) and n refer to radiation on a tilted plane and on a plane normal to the
direction of propagation. If neither T nor n appears, the radiation is on a horizontal plane.
h refers to horizontal radiation, as well

BEAM RADIATION ON HORIZONTAL AND TILTED


SURFACE Angle scheme
Sun

G b,n

r
n
qz G b,h

r
n
q
G b,n
b

= tilt angle

RATIO OF BEAM RADIATION ON TILTED SURFACE TO THAT


ON HORIZONTAL SURFACE - 1
It is often necessary to calculate the hourly radiation on a tilted surface of a collector from
measurements or estimates of solar radiation on a horizontal surface.

The most commonly available data are total radiation for hours or days on the horizontal
surface, whereas the need is for beam and diffuse radiation on the plane of a collector.
The geometric factor Rb, the ratio of beam radiation on the tilted surface to that on
a horizontal surface at any time, is given by

Gb ,T
G cos q
cos q
Rb
bn

Gb
Gbn cos q z cos q z

RATIO OF BEAM RADIATION ON TILTED SURFACE TO THAT ON


HORIZONTAL SURFACE - 2
The symbol G is used to denote rates [W/m2], while I [J/m2], is used for energy quantities
integrated over 1 hour (and H over one day).

Rb

G b,T
Gb

Rb

I b,T
Ib

H b,T
Rb
Hb

When Rb is calculated for hourly periods; angles are calculated at midpoint of the hour
(e.g. for the assessment of Rb for the hour comprised between 10 and 11 am the
evaluation of the angles must be done at the time 10.30).

http://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom/properties-of-sunlight/calculation-fo-solar-insolation

The optimum azimuth angle for flat-plate collectors is usually 0 in the Northern
hemisphere (or 180 in the Southern hemisphere).
Thus it is a common situation that = 0 (or 180).

SOLAR DATA AVAILABILITY


Solar radiation data are used in several forms and for a variety of purposes.
The most detailed information available is hour-by-hour beam and diffuse solar
radiation on a horizontal surface, which is used in simulations of solar processes and
of heat transfer in buildings.
Daily data are often available and hourly radiation can be estimated from daily data.
Monthly total solar radiation on a horizontal surface can be used in some process
design methods. However, as process performance is generally not linear with solar
radiation, the use of averages may lead to serious errors if non linearity are not taken
into account.

SOLAR RADIATION MEASUREMENTS - 1


Instruments for measuring solar radiation are of two basic types: pyranometer and
pyrehliometer.
A pyrehliometer (sometimes called actinometer) is an instrument using a collimated
detector for measuring solar radiation from the sun and from a small portion of the sky
around the sun (i.e., beam radiation) at normal incidence.
The instrument is mounted on a tracking mechanism. The detector is at the end of
the collimating tube, (the detector is a multijunction
thermopile). The aperture angle of the
instrument is 5.7, so the detector receives radiation from
the sun and from an area of the circumsolar sky two orders
of magnitude larger than that of the sun.

SOLAR RADIATION MEASUREMENTS - 2


A Pyranometer (or, solarimeter) is an instrument for measuring total hemispherical solar
(beam plus diffuse) radiation, usually on a horizontal surface. If shaded from the beam
radiation by a shade ring or disc, a pyranometer measures diffuse radiation.
They are the most widely spread solar radiation measuring instruments.
The detectors for these instruments must have a response independent of wavelength of
radiation over the solar energy spectrum, and on the angle of incidence of solar radiation.
The detectors of most pyranometers are covered with one or two hemispherical glass
covers to protect them from wind, rain, smog, etc..

Solarimeter (TP)
Solarimeter (PV)

SOLAR RADIATION MEASUREMENTS - 3


In addition, there are instruments for measuring diffuse (or, sky) radiation, and for
measuring ground reflected radiation (albedometer).

Shadow band solarimeter


(diffuse radiation measurement)

Albedometer

Measurement of sunshine duration


The hours of bright sunshine, that is, the time in which the solar disc is visible, is of some
use in estimating long-term averages of solar radiation. Two instruments have been or are
widely used, The Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder uses a solid glass sphere of
approximately 10 cm diameter as a lens that produces an image of the sun on the
opposite surface of the sphere.
A photoelectric sunshine recorder, which incorporates two selenium photovoltaic cells,
one of which is shaded from beam radiation and one exposed to it. In the absence of
beam radiation, the two detectors indicate (nearly) the same radiation level.

When beam radiation is incident on the


unshaded cell, the output of that cell is higher
than that of the shaded cell. The duration of a
critical radiation difference detected by the
two cells is a measure of the duration of bright
sunshine.

SOLAR RADIATION DATA


Solar radiation data are available in several forms. The following information about
radiation data is important in their understanding and use:
whether they are instantaneous measurements (irradiance) or values integrated over
some period of time (irradiation, usually hour or average monthly day);
the time or time period of the measurements (daily, mean);
whether the measurements are of beam, diffuse, or total radiation;
the receiving surface orientation (horizontal, vertical S-W-E-N , sloped,..).

Most radiation data available are solar total for horizontal surfaces, and have been
measured with pyranometers. Most of these instruments provide radiation records as a
function of time (time profiles on hourly basis), but direct and diffuse fractions are not
known.
Two types of solar radiation data are widely available:
The first is monthly average daily total radiation on a horizontal surface H
the second is hourly total radiation on a horizontal surface, I, for each hour for one or
more years.
The data are widely available from weather services.

SOLAR RADIATION DATA


Care must be taken since not all the time recorded for hourly weather data are
consistent among each other (e.g. some uses local solar time, other use local standard
clock time and can/cannot account for daylight savings time),

ESTIMATION OF CLEAR-SKY RADIATION


The effects of the atmosphere in scattering and absorbing radiation are variable with
time as atmospheric conditions and air mass change.
It is useful to define a standard clear sky and calculate the hourly and daily
radiation which would be received on a horizontal surface under these standard
conditions.
It is possible to estimate the beam radiation transmitted through clear atmospheres,
taking into account sun zenith angle and altitude, for a standard atmosphere.
Numerous models are available, such as Hottel, or ASHRAE (Moon). In the following,
the ASHRAE model will be described.

ASHRAE Model (clear sky) irradiances


Gbn A e B /cosqz

Direct (beam) normal

Gd C Gbn

Diffuse horizontal (isotropic sky)

The ASHRAE model is a model of simple use, although sufficiently accurate for
engineering calculations. One of the main simplifying assumptions it assumes is
the isotropic diffuse radiation.
Diffuse radiation is actually composed of three parts:
an isotropic part, received uniformly from the entire sky dome,
a circumsolar diffuse radiation, resulting from forward scattering of solar
radiation and concentrated in the part of the sky around the sun,
a part referred to as horizon brightening, concentrated near the horizon and
most pronounced in clear skies.

ASHRAE Model (clear sky) irradiances

A (W/m2)

APPARENT SOLAR CONSTANT


EXTINCTION COEFFICIENT

DIFFUSE RADIATION COEFFICIENT

G Gb Gd (cos q z C )Gbn
Fc s

1 cos b

Fc g 1 Fc s

Total horizontal

Surface-sky and surface-ground view


factors

GT Gbn cos q Gd Fcs G Fc g

Total on tilted surface

ASHRAE model parameters during the year


Month
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

A
W/m2
1229
1213
1185
1134
1103
1087
1084
1106
1150
1191
1220
1232

0.142
0.144
0.156
0.18
0.196
0.205
0.207
0.201
0.177
0.16
0.149
0.142

0.058
0.06
0.071
0.097
0.121
0.134
0.136
0.122
0.092
0.073
0.063
0.057

Apparent solar constant A

1240
1220
1200

A (W/m2)

1180
1160
1140
1120
1100
1080
1060
1

7
month

10

11

12

Atmospheric extinction coefficient (B) and diffuse


radiation coefficient (C)
0.25

0.2

0.15
B
C
0.1

0.05

0
1

7
month

10

11

12

Clear sky solar irradiance ( = 45N)


Clear sky solar irradiance values (21 September)
Beam Normal (Gbn), Diffuse Horizontal (Gdh), Total Horizontal (Gth)
1000
900

800
solar irradiance (W/m

700
600

Gbn
Gdh
Gth

500
400
300
200
100
0
0.0

6.0

12.0
hour

18.0

24.0

Clear sky horizontal irradiance G ( = 45N)


1000
900

Horizontal Sun irradiance (W/m2)

800
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
Sept.
Oct.
Nov.
Dec.

700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0.0

4.0

8.0

12.0
hour

16.0

20.0

24.0

Clear sky solar irradiance on vertical surfaces


(September, clear sky) ( = 45N)
1000
900

800
700

S
S-E
E
N-E
N
N-W
W
S-W

600
500
400
300
200

100
0
0.0

6.0

12.0

18.0

24.0

RADIATION WITH CLEAR AND CLOUDY DAYS


AND HOURS
The frequency of occurrence of periods of various radiation levels, for example, of good
and bad days, is of interest to determine the fraction of diffuse radiation to total
radiation (either daily or monthly average),
To this purpose the clearness index will be introduced:
The monthly average clearness index, K T is the ratio of monthly average daily radiation
on a horizontal surface, H , to the monthly average daily extraterrestrial radiation H o:
KT

H
H0

The data H are from measurements of total solar radiation on a horizontal


surface, that is, the commonly available solarimeter (pyranometer ) measurements.
Values of H o, (extra-atmospheric on horizontal plane) can be calculated by the methods
already seen (eq. 15, 16 and 17)

DISTRIBUTION OF CLEAR AND CLOUDY DAYS


AND HOURS
Liu and Jordan (1960) found that, if for locations with a particular value of K T the
cumulative frequency of occurrence of days with certain values of KT is plotted as a
function of KT, the resulting cumulative distribution curves are very nearly identical for
locations having the same values ofK T, even though the locations varied widely in
latitude and elevation.
On the basis of this information, they developed a set of generalized distribution curves
of KT versus f , which are functions of K T, the monthly clearness index:

In a place having =K T
0.5, 75% of days
have KT < 0.7

BEAM AND DIFFUSE COMPONENTS OF


RADIATION
Methods are needed to estimate the fractions of total horizontal radiation that are
diffuse and beam (on hourly, daily and monthly basis).
Splitting total solar radiation on a horizontal surface into its diffuse and beam
components is of interest in two contexts:
methods for calculating total radiation on surfaces of other orientation from data on a
horizontal surface require separate treatments of beam and diffuse radiation.
estimates of the long time performance of most concentrating collectors must be
based on estimates of availability of beam radiation.
The usual approach is to correlate the average monthly diffuse fraction:

Kd =Hd H
with the monthly average clearness index

KT

BEAM AND DIFFUSE COMPONENTS OF


HOURLY, DAILY , MONTHLY RADIATION
Diffuse fraction of the monthly average radiation (Liu-Jordan-Klein correlation).
Depends on season through the sunset hour angle, s:

(33)

Liu-Jordan-Klein correlation for K d


s < 81.4

s > 81.4

0.7
0.6

Kd

0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6
Kt

0.8

RADIATION ON SLOPED SURFACES


A general problem is to calculate the radiation on tilted surfaces when only total radiation
on a horizontal surface is known.
A simple but sufficiently accurate model is the isotropic diffuse model (Liu & Jordan
model) in which it is assumed that both diffuse and ground-reflected radiation are
isotropic. Under this assumption, the sum of diffuse from the sky and ground-reflected
radiation on the tilted surface does not depend on orientation.

The total radiation is, then, the sum of


the beam contribution calculated as HbRb
the sky diffuse contribution, equal to horizontal diffuse, Hd, times the view factor
between collector surface and sky
the ground diffuse contribution, equal to total horizontal, H, times the view factor
between collector surface and ground

HT H b Rb H d Fcs H g Fcg

RADIATION ON SLOPED SURFACES: DETAILS


HT is the total radiation on a surface tilted at slope b from the horizontal plane.

Fcs =(1 + cosb)/2 is the view factor of the tilted surface (collector) to the sky.

http://www.pveducation.org/

Fcg =(1 - cosb)/2 is the view factor of the titled surface (collector) to the ground
if the surroundings have a diffuse reflectance of g for the total solar radiation, the
reflected radiation from the surroundings on the surface will be:

H g

1 cos b

AVERAGE RADIATION ON SLOPED SURFACES


Therefore

and

1 cos b
1 cos b
H T H b Rb H d
H g

2
2

HT H d
R
1
H
H

Hd
Rb
H

1 cos b
1 cos b

2
2

Where:
Hd H is a function of K T (eq. 33), and H values can be found in Standard UNI 10349

The ratio of the average daily beam radiation on the tilted surface to that on a
horizontal surface for the month R b , which is equal to HbT H b is given by:

Rb factor for latitude 45 N (collector facing South)


Rb factor for latitude 45 N
4.000

3.500

3.000

6
5-7
4-8
3-9
2-10
1-11
12

Rb

2.500

2.000

1.500

1.000

0.500

0.000
0

10

20

30

40

50
tilt angle

60

70

80

90

Rb factor for latitude 40 N


Rb factor for latitude 40 N
4.00

3.50

3.00

6
5-7
4-8
3-9
2-10
1-11
12

Rb

2.50

2.00

1.50

1.00

0.50

0.00
0

10

20

30

40

50
tilt angle

60

70

80

90

Rb factor for latitude 35 N


Rb factor for latitude 35 N
4.00

3.50

3.00

6
5-7
4-8
3-9
2-10
1-11
12

Rb

2.50

2.00

1.50

1.00

0.50

0.00
0

10

20

30

40

50
tilt angle

60

70

80

90

South surface irradiation (TO)


hor

45

vert

Daily irradiation (kWh/m2)

0
1

month

10

11

12

Azimuth effect (Torino)


Irradiation on tilted surfaces for different
azimuth values
Tilt angle b = 45
Tilt angle b = 90

Global yearly value


With b = 45: Esol,45 = 5420 MJ/m2
With b = 90: Esol,90 = 3824 MJ/m2 (70,6 %)
With b = 0: Esol,0 = 4817 MJ/m2 (89%)

Average monthly energy


Torino (b = 45)
South

SSE/SSW

SE/SW

ESE/WSW

E/W

25.0

Energy (MJ/m2 day

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
1

7
month

10

11

12

Incident energy fraction for


different azimuth angles (b=45)
azimuth

30

year

1.00

0.98

< 0 /year

0.41

winter

45

60

90

0.96

0.93

0.83

0.39

0.37

0.36

0.32

1.00

0.96

0.92

0.88

0.79

> 0 /year

0.59

0.59

0.59

0.57

0.51

summer

1.00

1.00

0.99

0.96

0.86

Incident energy fraction for


different azimuth angles (b=45)
year

winter/year

winter

summer/year

summer

1.20

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00
0

10

20

30

40

50
azimuth

60

70

80

90

Monthly average energy


Torino (b = 90)
South

SSE/SSW

SE/SW

ESE/WSW

E/W

25.0

Energy (MJ/m2 day)

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
1

7
month

10

11

12

Incident energy fraction for


different azimuth angles (b=90)
azimuth

30

year

1.00

1.01

winter/ year

0.50

winter
summer/
year
summer

45

60

90

1.00

0.98

0.88

0.46

0.43

0.39

0.33

1.00

0.92

0.85

0.79

0.67

0.50

0.55

0.58

0.59

0.55

1.00

1.09

1.16

1.18

1.09

Incident energy fraction for


different azimuth angles (b=90)
year

winter/year

winter

summer/year

summer

1.20

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00
0

10

20

30

40

50

azimuth ()

60

70

80

90

Incident solar energy for different b


values 0
Sun Energy variation for different tilt angle values
b 0

b 15

b 30

b 45

b 60

b 75

b 90

Incident solar energy (MJ/m2 day)

25.0

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
1

10

11

12

Incident energy for different b values


0

year

winter/year)

summer/year)

1.20

1.00

0.80

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00
0

10

20

30

40

50
tilt

60

70

80

90

SUMMARY
Radiation data are available in several forms, with the most widely available being
pyranometer measurements of total (beam-plus-diffuse) radiation on horizontal
surfaces.
These data are available on an hourly basis from a limited number of stations and
on a daily basis for many stations.

Nevertheless, solar radiation information is needed in several different forms,


depending on the kinds of calculations that are to be done:
procedures based on detailed hour-by-hour basis for long time performance of a
solar process system (hourly information of solar radiation and other
meteorological measurements are needed).
procedures based on monthly average solar radiation. These are useful in
estimating long-term performance of some kinds of solar processes.

There are methods for the estimation of solar radiation information in the desired
format from the data that are available, such as estimation of beam and diffuse
radiation from total radiation, time distribution of radiation in a day, and radiation
on surfaces other than horizontal.

References for solar angles and radiation


Web:
http://www.solaritaly.enea.it/CalcRggmmOrizz/Calcola1.p
hp
http://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvgis

Books:
Duffie & Beckman, Solar Engineering of thermal processes,
Wiley & sons, 870 pp.
Tiwari, Solar energy technology advances, Nova Publishers,
2006 - 138 pages
Cucumo, Marinelli, Oliveti, Ingegneria solare Principi e
applicazioni, Pitagora, Bologna 1994