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Clear-Sky Radiation Models and Aerosol Effects

  • Christian A. GueymardEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)

Abstract

This chapter offers a description of the main factors that affect the transmission of solar radiation through the cloudless atmosphere, and the corresponding modeling approaches. The limitations of broadband modeling are discussed, and methodological improvements are described. A detailed discussion of the various inputs required by different clear-sky radiation models, and how to obtain such data, is provided so that the reader can operate these models with appropriate inputs, depending on the application and geographical coverage. In particular, the benefits of using atmospheric data provided by recent reanalyses are described. The impact of aerosol attenuation on the different irradiance components is discussed, with a focus on the aerosol optical depth. Its methods of measurement, properties, reduction methods, accuracy, and spatiotemporal variability are described. The error propagation between aerosol data and the predicted irradiance is quantified, and examples are provided. Seven models of the literature are selected for further discussion and validation. This validation is performed using high-quality radiometric data from Tamanrasset, Algeria, and is done in two different ways: an ideal validation based on the best possible (locally measured) aerosol information and a practical method (generalizable anywhere) based on reanalysis data. A sensible degradation of performance is obvious when using the second approach. Finally, some likely or desirable future developments in the field are described.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The AERONET and BSRN staff and participants are thanked for their successful effort in establishing and maintaining the various sites whose data were advantageously used in the present developments. The author also wishes to thank Dr. José Antonio Ruiz-Arias for his insightful comments and preparation of Fig. 4.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Solar Consulting ServicesColebrookUSA

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