• Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s surface at a maximum flux density of about 10kWm−2 in a wavelength band between 0.3 and 2.5μm. • For inhabited areas, this flux varies from about 3 to 30MJm−2 day−1, depending on place, time and weather. • Therefore the outward radiant energy fluxes emitted by the Earth’s atmosphere and surfaces are also of the order of 1kWm−2, but occur in an infrared wavelength band between about 5 and 25μm.

• The radiant flux (W/m2) from the Sun at the Earth’s distance varies through the year by ±4% because of the slightly non-circular path of the Earth around the Sun. • The radiance also varies by perhaps ±0. . • This internal radiation is absorbed in the outer passive layers which are heated to about 5800K.3 per cent per year due to sunspots.Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation • Nuclear fusion reactions in the active core of the Sun produce inner temperatures of about 107 K.

[The area beneath this curve is the solar constant G = 1367Wm ] ∗ 0 -2 . uninfluenced by any atmosphere.Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation • Figure shows the spectral distribution of the solar irradiance at the Earth’s mean distance.

Extraterrestrial Solar Radiation • The area beneath this curve is the solar constant G∗0 = 1367Wm-2.5 μm corresponds to photon energies of 4.1–0.Ultraviolet region (< 0.) 1.7μm) ∼43% of the irradiance 3.Infrared region ( > 0. .4μm) ∼5% of the irradiance 2.3 to 2.e.4μm<  <0. • Individual photons of energy E = hc/ Then the range from 0.7μm) ∼52% of the irradiance. The solar spectrum can be divided into three main regions: • (The proportions given are as received at the Earth’s surface with the Sun incident at about 45.Visible region (0. at the Earth’s mean distance from the Sun). This is the RFD incident on a plane directly facing the Sun and outside the atmosphere at a distance of 1496×108 km from the Sun (i.50 eV.

negative south of the equator. Noon solar time occurs once every 24 h when the meridional plane CEP includes the Sun. The axis of the poles is normal to the earth’s equatorial plane.Geometry of the Earth and Sun • • • • • • • • • North and south poles N and S. E and G in Figure are the points on the equator having the same longitude as P and Greenwich respectively. The point P on the Earth’s surface is determined by its latitude Ф and longitude ψ. C is the centre of the Earth. England. The vertical north–south plane through P is the local meridional plane. . as for all points having that longitude. Longitude ψ is measured positive eastwards from Greenwich. Latitude Ф is defined positive for points north of the equator.

Geometry of the Earth and Sun .

Geometry of the Earth and Sun • The hour angle ω at P is the angle through which the Earth has rotated since solar noon. it never exceeds 15 min and can be neglected . • Since the Earth rotates at 360/24 h = 15 h−1. the hour angle is given by: • Where tsolar and tzone are respectively the local solar and civil times (measured in hours) ψzone is the longitude where the Sun is overhead when tzone is noon ω is positive in the evening and negative in the morning The small correction term ωeq is called the equation of time.

whilst the direction of its axis remains fixed in space. • declination δ is the latitude φ of the point where the Sun is exactly overhead at solar noon.45o away from the normal to the plane of revolution. • The angle between the Sun’s direction and the equatorial plane is called the declination δ.Geometry of the Earth and Sun • The Earth orbits the Sun once per year. (If the line from the centre of the Earth to the Sun cuts the Earth’s surface at P) . at an angle δ0 =23.

Geometry of the Earth and Sun .

Variation in the length of the day 2. This attenuation increases with θz .Variation in atmospheric absorption The ‘clear day’ radiation plotted in Figure is less than the extraterrestrial radiation because of atmospheric attenuation.Geometry of the Earth and Sun • where n is the day in the year (n = 1 on 1 January). The error for a leap year is insignificant in practice. • The daily insolation H is the total energy per unit area received in one day from the sun: • Its seasonal variation arises from three main factors: 1.Orientation of receiving surface cos θz = cos(φ−δ) 3.

Geometry of the Earth and Sun .

. declination δ. Θ is the angle of incidence on the north/south-facing collector.Geometry of the Earth and Sun • latitude φ. and slope β of a collector at P.

the angle between the solar beam and the longitude meridian. • Sun (solar) azimuth angle γs. • Angle of incidence θ normal. Geometry of Collector and the Solar Beam The angle between the plane surface in question and the • Surface azimuth angle γ. horizontal. the angle between solar beam and surface • (Solar) zenith angle θ z. The angle Earth has rotated since solar noon. The complement to the (solar) zenith angle. angle of solar beam to the horizontal. Projected on the horizontal plane. The angle between the solar beam and the • Solar altitude αs = 90 − θz.• Slope β. Projected on the horizontal plane. γ is the angle between the normal to the surface and the local longitude meridian. • (Solar) hour angle ω. vertical. .

Geometry of Collector and the Solar Beam .

yet careful. geometry gives equations essential for solar modeling: Geometry of Collector and the Solar Beam • A collector oriented towards the equator will directly face the solar beam at noon if its slope is equal to the latitude .• With this sign convention. basic. In this case γ = 0. the equation will be reduced to: . β=φ.

cosθ negative). when the sun rises from or falls to the observer’s horizon (i.e.Formulas are normally derived for the case when all angles are positive. sunshine is on the north side of buildings and on the rear side of a fixed south-facing collector.• Two cautions should be noted about the previous equation. When this happens for instance in the northern hemisphere. θ noticeably exceeds 90o in early to mid morning and from mid to late evening. with the result that their formulas do not apply in the southern hemisphere. 2. Geometry of Collector and the Solar Beam .At higher latitudes in summer. 1. not the front. and other formulas similar to it that may be encountered. and in particular φ>0. Southern readers will be wise to check all such formulas. Some northern writers pay insufficient attention to sign.

• Even on a cloudless. and also from other directions as diffuse Radiation. there is always at least 10% diffuse irradiance from the molecules in the atmosphere. .Components of Radiation • The radiation will be observable from the direction of the Sun’s disc in the direct beam. clear day. • It is important to identify the various components of solar radiation and to clarify the plane on which the irradiance is being measured.

so that G no subscript ≡ Gtc. c for the plane of a collector. the asterisk ∗ denotes the plane perpendicular to the beam and subscript 0 denotes values outside the atmosphere in space. h for the horizontal plane.Components of Radiation • Subscripts as illustrated in Figure: b for beam. d for diffuse. • Subscripts c and t are assumed if no subscripts are given. t for total. .

Components of Radiation .

• The total irradiance on any plane is the sum of the beam and diffuse components.Components of Radiation • where θ is the angle between the beam and the normal to the collector surface. • where θz is the (solar) zenith angle between the beam and the vertical. .

since cosθ ≈ 1 for θ< 30. because the insolation Hc received is the sum of both the beam and the diffuse components: • A suitable fixed collector orientation for most purposes is facing the equator with a slope equal to the latitude. • However.• A concentrating collector should always point towards the direction of the solar beam (i. variations of ±30o in azimuth or slope should have little effect on the total energy collected. • However. Optimum Orientation of a Collector . the optimum direction of a fixed flat plate collector may not be obvious. θ= 0).e.

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