Measurement of Broadband Diffuse Solar Irradiance Using Current Commercial Instrumentation with a Correction for Thermal Offset Errors

Ellsworth G. Dutton NOAA/Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Joseph J. Michalsky Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Thomas Stoffel National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

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Bruce W. Forgan Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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John Hickey Eppley Laboratory, Newport, Rhode Island

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Donald W. Nelson NOAA/Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Timothy L. Alberta *Analytical Services and Materials, Inc., Hampton, Virginia

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Ibrahim Reda National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

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Abstract

Diffuse-sky solar irradiance is an important quantity for radiation budget research, particularly as it relates to climate. Diffuse irradiance is one component of the total downwelling solar irradiance and contains information on the amount of downward-scattered, as opposed to directly transmitted, solar radiation. Additionally, the diffuse component is often required when calibrating total irradiance radiometers. A variety of pyranometers are commonly used to measure solar diffuse irradiance. An examination of some instruments for measuring diffuse irradiance using solar tracking shade disks is presented, along with an evaluation of the achieved accuracy. A data correction procedure that is intended to account for the offset caused by thermal IR exchange between the detector and filter domes in certain common diffuse pyranometers is developed and validated. The correction factor is derived from outputs of a collocated pyrgeometer that measures atmospheric infrared irradiance.

Retired.

Current affiliation: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

Corresponding author address: Ellsworth Dutton, NOAA/Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, R/CMDL1, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303.

Email: edutton@cmdl.noaa.gov

Abstract

Diffuse-sky solar irradiance is an important quantity for radiation budget research, particularly as it relates to climate. Diffuse irradiance is one component of the total downwelling solar irradiance and contains information on the amount of downward-scattered, as opposed to directly transmitted, solar radiation. Additionally, the diffuse component is often required when calibrating total irradiance radiometers. A variety of pyranometers are commonly used to measure solar diffuse irradiance. An examination of some instruments for measuring diffuse irradiance using solar tracking shade disks is presented, along with an evaluation of the achieved accuracy. A data correction procedure that is intended to account for the offset caused by thermal IR exchange between the detector and filter domes in certain common diffuse pyranometers is developed and validated. The correction factor is derived from outputs of a collocated pyrgeometer that measures atmospheric infrared irradiance.

Retired.

Current affiliation: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

Corresponding author address: Ellsworth Dutton, NOAA/Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, R/CMDL1, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303.

Email: edutton@cmdl.noaa.gov

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