1st Edition

Solar Radiation
Practical Modeling for Renewable Energy Applications

ISBN 9781138075542
Published March 29, 2017 by CRC Press
210 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

USD $94.95

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Book Description

Written by a leading scientist with over 35 years of experience working at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Solar Radiation: Practical Modeling for Renewable Energy Applications brings together the most widely used, easily implemented concepts and models for estimating broadband and spectral solar radiation data. The author addresses various technical and practical questions about the accuracy of solar radiation measurements and modeling.

While the focus is on engineering models and results, the book does review the fundamentals of solar radiation modeling and solar radiation measurements. It also examines the accuracy of solar radiation modeling and measurements. The majority of the book describes the most popular simple models for estimating broadband and spectral solar resources available to flat plate, concentrating, photovoltaic, solar thermal, and daylighting engineering designs. Sufficient detail is provided for readers to implement the models in assorted development environments.

Covering the nuts and bolts of practical solar radiation modeling applications, this book helps readers translate solar radiation data into viable, real-world renewable energy applications. It answers many how-to questions relating to solar energy conversion systems, solar daylighting, energy efficiency of buildings, and other solar radiation applications.

Table of Contents

Fundamentals of Solar Radiation
The Sun as a Star
The Earth and the Sun
Solar Time and Solar Position
Solar Components
Clearness Index

Introduction to Solar Radiation Measurements
Overview of Detector Technology
Pyrheliometers: Measuring Direct Normal Irradiance
Pyranometers: Measuring Hemispherical Radiation
Spectral Distributions
Measurement Networks

Modeling Clear Sky Solar Radiation
The Atmospheric Filter
Physics-Based Models
Empirical Models
Parameterization Models

Modeling Global Irradiance under All Sky Conditions
Simple Correlation Models
Empirical All Sky Radiation Models
All Sky Solar Radiation from Weather Satellites
The Future: Forecasting Solar Radiation

Modeling Missing Components
Estimating Diffuse from Global Horizontal Irradiance
Estimating Direct from Global Normal Irradiance

Applications: Modeling Solar Radiation Available to Collectors
Solar Collector Geometries
Isotropic Models
Anisotropic Models
The Perez Anisotropic Tilt Conversion Model

Introduction to Modeling Spectral Distributions
The Spectral Atmospheric Filter
Renewable Energy Applications for Spectral Data and Models
Complex Spectral Models
Standard Spectral Distributions
CIE Spectral Model—Illuminant D65 and Daylight
Bird Clear Sky Spectral Model SPCTRL2
Gueymard Clear Sky Spectral Model SMARTS
SPCTRL2 and SMARTS for ASTM Standard Reference Conditions
Spectral Distributions under All Sky Conditions

Introduction to Modeling Daylight
Illuminance versus Irradiance
Applications of Daylight Data and Models
The Perez Anisotropic Illuminance Model
International Commission on Illumination Models
Sky Luminance Model Accuracy
Other Sky Luminance Distribution Models
Other Reading

Summary and Future Prospects
Overview of the Modeling Chapters
Current Issues and Future Prospects

Appendix A: Bird Clear Sky Model in Excel
Appendix B: Excel Structure for DISC Model of Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) from Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI)
Appendix C: Tables for CIE D65 Reference Spectrum and Spectral Daylight Temperature Model

Appendix D: SPCTRL2 FORTRAN Source Code
Appendix E: Photopic Response Function V(λ) Curve

Appendix F: Perez Anisotropic Model Coefficients for Luminous Efficacy and Zenith Luminance Model

A Summary and References appear at the end of each chapter.

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Daryl R. Myers worked as a senior scientist at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for 37 years before retiring in 2011. He contributed to the development of many national solar radiometry consensus standards, the U.S. National Solar Radiation Data Base, and joint satellite data validation projects. He is the author or coauthor of 160 technical publications.


This work provides a unique balance of a theoretical treatment and practical application for a broad readership interested in learning and using the latest information on solar radiation modeling. The scope is comprehensive, giving the reader everything from the subject fundamentals to the numerical recipes and technical references for further study. The treatment of uncertainty and the ‘modeler’s toolbox’ formed by the appendices are reason enough to have this book.
This is a timely publication for understanding and applying solar resource characterization … a uniquely comprehensive treatment of the many aspects of modeling broadband and spectral solar irradiance at the Earth’s surface. The numerical recipes for modeling solar radiation under clear and cloudy sky conditions make this a very practical reference as well as a useful introduction to the subject. The balanced content is exemplified by the treatment of solar measurements and measurement uncertainty that are key factors in the development and validation of models.
—Tom Stoffel, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory

… a relevant and well-structured tour through the ever-increasing array of radiometric modeling techniques available to researchers. … an indispensable guide to practitioners and teachers by one of the leading authorities on solar resource modeling. Students will appreciate the worked examples. … It offers a thorough and long-overdue summary of solar radiometric modeling from one of the most experienced authorities in the field.
—Michael Brooks, University of KwaZulu-Natal

The book gives a unique overview of the models used in the solar radiation community. … even the more complex models are shown in all details. … This is a good textbook for students who want to understand and reproduce the models used in solar radiation modeling nowadays.
—Jan Remund, Meteotest

For people looking for better information to understand solar radiation science, measuring techniques, instrumentation uncertainties, and modeling of solar radiation under different orientation and sky conditions, I recommend this book.
—Alemu Tadesse, SunEdison