Simple Solar Spectral Model for Direct and Diffuse Irradiance on Horizontal and Tilted Planes at the Earth's Surface for Cloudless Atmospheres

Richard E. Bird Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, CO 80401

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Carol Riordan Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, CO 80401

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Abstract

In a previous work, we described a simple model for calculating direct normal and diffuse horizontal spectral solar irradiance for cloudless sky conditions. In this paper, we present a new simple model (SPCTRAL2) that incorporates improvements to the simple model approach and an algorithm for calculating spectral irradiance on tilted surfaces. The model was developed using comparisons with rigorous radiative transfer codes and limited outdoor measurements. SPCTRAL2 produces terrestrial spectra between 0.3 and 4.0 μm with a resolution of approximately 10 nm. Inputs to the model include the solar zenith angle, the collector tilt angle, atmospheric turbidity, the amount of precipitable water vapor and ozone, surface pressure, and ground albedo. A major goal of this work is to provide researchers with the capability to calculate spectral irradiance for different atmospheric conditions and different solar collector geometries using microcomputers.

Abstract

In a previous work, we described a simple model for calculating direct normal and diffuse horizontal spectral solar irradiance for cloudless sky conditions. In this paper, we present a new simple model (SPCTRAL2) that incorporates improvements to the simple model approach and an algorithm for calculating spectral irradiance on tilted surfaces. The model was developed using comparisons with rigorous radiative transfer codes and limited outdoor measurements. SPCTRAL2 produces terrestrial spectra between 0.3 and 4.0 μm with a resolution of approximately 10 nm. Inputs to the model include the solar zenith angle, the collector tilt angle, atmospheric turbidity, the amount of precipitable water vapor and ozone, surface pressure, and ground albedo. A major goal of this work is to provide researchers with the capability to calculate spectral irradiance for different atmospheric conditions and different solar collector geometries using microcomputers.

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