Solar Energy Climatology of North Carolina

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  • a National Climate Program Office, Rockville, MD 20852 and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
  • | b University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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Abstract

A solar energy climatology for North Carolina was developed using radiation data from the six SOLMET stations in the state. The climatology provides information needed to design solar powered space and water heating systems, and evaluate their performance. It specifies the distribution of monthly average daily total radiation on a horizontal surface, relationships between radiation and temperature for an average heating season, and the variability of radiation within a season. The main features of the solar energy climatology can be explained by the synoptic climatology of the area. The absolute values of the SOLMET radiation data are questionable, although they are acceptable for system design purposes. Results are presented graphically, allowing the climatology to be easily related to system performance. Examples of the relationships are given for a typical active space and water heating system, using the F-Chart method to calculate performance.

Abstract

A solar energy climatology for North Carolina was developed using radiation data from the six SOLMET stations in the state. The climatology provides information needed to design solar powered space and water heating systems, and evaluate their performance. It specifies the distribution of monthly average daily total radiation on a horizontal surface, relationships between radiation and temperature for an average heating season, and the variability of radiation within a season. The main features of the solar energy climatology can be explained by the synoptic climatology of the area. The absolute values of the SOLMET radiation data are questionable, although they are acceptable for system design purposes. Results are presented graphically, allowing the climatology to be easily related to system performance. Examples of the relationships are given for a typical active space and water heating system, using the F-Chart method to calculate performance.

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