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cloudblue factor

Kevin Buchan & Mike Rivington, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, 2005

Contents:

Functions for Calculating Solar Radiation using Empirical Fixed Factor

Calculating Best Fixed Factor from Measured Solar Radiation

Average Best Fixed Factor

Solar Radiation Calculator

More information:

http://www.macaulay.ac.uk/LADSS/

Predicting Solar Radiation

Predictors for solar radiation have been developed because there is often a lack of representative solar radiation data in most countries.

Cloudiness, atmospheric transmissivity, latitude and orientation of the Earth relative to the Sun, time of day, slope and aspect of the

surface determine the spatial and temporal distribution of irradiance incident on a surface. A number of methods exist for conversion

of sunshine duration to solar radiation. Each has a range of data input requirements.

CalcRad2 and CalcRad3 (Functions for Calculating Solar Radiation using Empirical Fixed Factor) are functions that use

sunshine duration to predict solar radiation. The model accounts for latitude, solar declination and elevation, day length and

atmospheric transmissivity on a daily basis and has only daily sunshine duration (hours) as input.

Woodward et al. (2001) determined an empirical fixed factor (FF) of 1.11 for New Zealand. Rivington et al (2002) optimised FF for

three test sites. Daily FF values were fitted using measured solar radiation values for each day per year for each complete year within

the data set (Calculating Best Fixed Factor from Measured Solar Radiation). The average of all years can then be used (Average Best

Fixed Factor).

This method imposes a base-line amount of diffuse radiation, variable with h, such that an input of zero sunshine hours will still

produce a value of irradiance.

The original CalcRad2 function (Woodward et al. 2001) uses formulae for estimating potential and daily irradiance, transmissivity,

radiation intensity, solar declination, solar elevation, solar radiation and sunshine hours. See also Johnson (1995) for further

information:

The function includes a hard coded fixed factor of 1.11 an ideal value for New Zealand. However, to allow this value to be more

easily modified for use in other parts of the world, the function was modified for our requirements so that the fixed factor could be

calibrated for a specific location and passed in as an argument. The new function is CalcRad3(A,B,C,D) where:

A: day of year

B: latitude

C: sunshine hours

D: fixed factor

Function: CalcRad3

CalcRad3 (td, latdeg, h0s, cloudblue)

= 0.64 + 0.12 * cos((td - 174) / 365 * 2 * )

= latdeg * / 180

= -23.4 * / 180 * Cos(2 * * (td + 10) / 365)

sin = Sin() * Sin() + Cos() * Cos()

h = 2 / (15 * / 180) * cos-1(-Tan() * Tan())

tauthing = (1 / sin)

J0.p = 1367 * sin / / 2 * (1 + tauthing)

J0.s = 1367 * sin / * tauthing

fblue = (1 - tauthing) / (1 + tauthing)

fcloud = cloudblue * fblue

c = 1 - h0s / h

J0 = (h0s * J0.s + h * J0.p * (fblue * (1 - c) + fcloud * c)) / h

rad = max ( 0, J0 / 1000000 * h * 3600 * 2 )

Solar constant = 1367

taken as 3.14159265

td = day of year

latdeg = latitude in degrees

= latitude in radians

h0s = sunshine hours per day

cloudblue = x factor (empirical parameter)

J0.p = potential irradiance at solar noon / mean daytime irradiance at canopy surface on clear day

J0.s = direct solar component of J0.p

= solar declination angle

h = daylight period in hours

= atmospheric transmissivity

fblue= intensity of radiation from blue sky

fcloud = intensity of radiation from cloudy sky

rad = solar radiation

J0 = mean daily irradiance

c = proportion of sky covered by cloud

In order to fit daily FF values the CalcRad3 function was modified so that measured radiation would be specified as input and the

function would calculate and return the FF value. This new function is CalcFactFromSR(A,B,C,D,E,F), where:

A: day of year

B: latitude

C: sunshine hours

D: measured SR

E: min best factor limit

F: max best factor limit

It can be verified that the best factor returned from CalcFactFromSR is valid by using it in a call to CalcRad3 as before and

comparing the returned SR with the original measured SR input.

Function: CalcFactFromSR

CalcFactFromSR(td, latdeg, h0s, rad, minFact, maxFact)

= 0.64 + 0.12 * Cos((td - 174) / 365 * 2 * )

= latdeg * / 180

= -23.4 * / 180 * Cos(2 * Pi * (td + 10) / 365)

sin = Sin() * Sin() + Cos() * Cos()

h = 2 / (15 * / 180) * cos-1(-Tan() * Tan())

tauthing = (1 / sin)

J0.p = 1367 * sin / / 2 * (1 + tauthing)

J0.s = 1367 * sin / * tauthing

fblue = (1 - tauthing) / (1 + tauthing)

c = 1 - h0s / h

J0= rad / 2 / 3600 / h * 1000000

fcloud = (((J0* h - h0s * J0.s) / h / J0.p) - (fblue * (1 - c))) / c

cloudblue = fcloud / fblue ; where minFact <= cloudblue <= maxFact

From the best factor calculation, we can calculate the average factor over the year:

Average best factor = sum of all Best Factor SRs / days in year

This value can be used as a good FF value for that location.

The CalcRad3 and CalcFactFromSR functions are VB Scripts contained within the solar radiation calculator (Figure 1).

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