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Solar Radiation

G Kumaresan, PhD Institute for Energy Studies CEG, Anna University, Chennai

Sun

130,000 K

About 74% of the sun’s mass is hydrogen, 25% is

helium, and the rest is made up of trace quantities of

heavier elements.

The sun is a hot sphere of gas whose internal

temperatures reach over 20 million degrees kelvin due

to nuclear fusion reactions at the sun's core which

convert hydrogen to helium.

which contains 40%

of the sun’s mass

The sun’s total energy output is 3.8x10 ^{2}^{0} MW, which is

equal to 63 MW/m ^{2} of the sun’s surface. This energy

radiates outward in all directions.

The earth receives only a tiny fraction of the total

radiation emitted, equal to 1.7x10 ^{1}^{4} kW; however, even

with this small fraction, it is estimated that 84 min of

solar radiation falling on earth is equal to the world

energy demand for one year (about 900 EJ).

Sun

The total power from the sun is spread out over a much larger surface area and therefore the solar irradiance on an object in space decreases as the object moves further away from

the sun.

The sun is about 1.5 x10 ^{8} km away from earth, so, because thermal radiation travels with the speed of light in a vacuum (300,000 km/s), after leaving the sun solar energy reaches our planet in 8 min and 20 s.

Solar radiation intensity on an object

The solar irradiance on an object some distance D from the sun is found by dividing the

total power emitted from the sun by the surface area over which the sunlight falls.

The total solar radiation emitted by the sun is given by σT ^{4} multiplied by the surface area of the sun (4π x Sun Radius ^{2} ). The surface area over which the power from the sun falls will be 4πD ^{2} . where D is the distance of the object from the sun.

Therefore, the solar radiation intensity, H _{0} in (W/m ^{2} ), incident on an object is:

Solar radiation Outside the Earth's Atmosphere

The solar radiation outside the earth's atmosphere is calculated using the radiant power density (H _{s}_{u}_{n} ) at the sun's surface (5.961 x 10 ^{7} W/m ^{2} ), the radius of the sun (R _{s}_{u}_{n} ), and the distance between the earth and the sun. The calculated solar irradiance at the Earth's atmosphere is about 1.36 kW/m ^{2} .

6

THERMAL RADIATION

•gamma rays are produced by nuclear reactions, •X-rays by the bombardment of metals with high-energy electrons,

•Microwaves by special types of electron tubes

such as klystrons and magnetrons •Radio waves by the excitation of some

crystals or by the flow of alternating current

through electric conductors

7

8

Solar Radiation at the Earth's Surface

The solar radiation incident on the Earth's atmosphere is relatively constant, the radiation at the Earth's surface varies widely due to:

• atmospheric effects, including absorption and scattering;

• local variations in the atmosphere, such as water vapour, clouds, and pollution;

• latitude of the location; and

• the season of the year and the time of day.

Earth atmosphere

Earth surface

Atmospheric effects have several impacts on the solar radiation at the Earth's surface. The major effects for photovoltaic applications are:

•a reduction in the power of the solar radiation due to absorption, scattering and reflection in the atmosphere; •a change in the spectral content of the solar radiation due to greater absorption or scattering of some wavelengths; •the introduction of a diffuse or indirect component into the solar radiation; and •local variations in the atmosphere (such as water vapour, clouds and pollution) which have additional effects on the incident power, spectrum and directionality.

Solar Radiation

Earth receive more than 4,000

hours per year of sunlight (more

than 90 percent of the maximum

possible), as in the Sahara;

others receive less than 2,000

hours, as in regions such as

Scotland and Iceland.

Ordinarily, sunlight is broken down into three major components:

(1) visible light, with wavelengths between 0.4 and 0.8 micrometre, (40%)

(2) ultraviolet light, with wavelengths shorter than 0.4 micrometre, (10%) &

(3) infrared radiation, with wavelengths longer than 0.8 micrometre (50%).

The visible portion constitutes nearly half of the total radiation received at the surface of the Earth. Although ultraviolet light constitutes only a very small proportion of the total radiation, this component is extremely important. It produces vitamin D.

The thickness of the atmosphere the radiation has to pass through is described as the pathlength or Air Mass (AM).

AM0 |
– Sunlight just outside the atmosphere |

AM1 |
– Pathlength when the sun is directly overhead |

AM2 |
– Sun 60 |

AM1.5 |
- Sun 48 |

Solar Constant, I o (1360 W/m 2 )

Solar radiation outside the Earth’s atmosphere – Extra Terrestrial Radiation

Solar radiation at the Earth’s surface – Terrestrial Radiation

As the distance between the sun

and the earth changes during the

whole year the value of the solar constant changes also during the year.

Solar constant (Extra Terrestrial Radiation) is defined as the total energy received

from the sun, per unit time, on a surface of unit area kept perpendicular to the radiation, in space, just outside the earth’s atmosphere when the earth is at its mean

distance from the sun.

Solar Irradiance (or) Insolation, I

solar energy irradiation on earth surface of any orientation is called Solar Irradiance (or) Insolation

where, N _{d} – number of the day

On the other hand, solar radiation is attenuated as it passes through the atmosphere and, in a simplified case, may be estimated according to an exponential decrease by using Bouger’s Law

where, k – absorption constant, and m - air mass

Different forms of Solar Radiation

• Different coverings have different reflectance or albedo.

• Fresh snow reflects over 80%, whereas water or forests less than 20%.

• The average albedo for the earth is about 30%

• It is possible to measure peak values of insolation

• Over 1200 W/m ^{2} , when reflectance is considered.

The albedo at any location is dependent on the following factors:

Cont…

The type of surface

Solar elevation and the geometry of the surface (horizontal or slope) relative to the sun

Spectral distribution and spectral reflectivity of the surface

Attenuation of Solar Radiation due to scattering

The variation in solar radiation reaching the earth than received at the outside of the atmosphere is due to absorption and scattering in atmosphere.

Monochromatic transmittance for beam radiation is calculated by

( s )

( abs)

Monochromatic atmospheric transmittance considering scattering and absorption

(at wavelength )

The total effect (air molecules, dust & water vapour) of scattering on the beam

radiation is calculated by

Attenuation of Solar Radiation – Scattering effect problem

Determine the atmospheric conditions for scattering, when the sun is at zenith. Take the

following data:

Wave length, λ =0.5μm Total pressure, p=750 mm of mercury Dust particles concentration at ground, d=800/cm3 Depth of precipitable water, w=20mm Assume monochromatic atmospheric transmittance considering absorption only

Soln:

(

s

)

a

p / 760

d

d /800

m

w

/ 20

w

a

d

w

10

-0.00389

-4

10

-0.00389(0.5 )

-4

10

-0.0353

-0.75

10

-0.0353(0.5)

10

-0.0075

-2

10

-0.0075(0.5)

-2

-0.75

10

10

-0.0623

10

-0.105

0.0 3

(Eq.1)

using the values in eqn. (1) and m

1 (

sun is at zenith)

( abs)

= 0.6

Problem

0.5(

s )

(10

( 0.0623)

750 760

10

( 0.105)

800800

Now total transmittance

(

s

)

(

abs

)

0.633

0.6

20 20

( 0.03)

1

10

)

0.3798

0.633

cont

Determine the atmospheric conditions for scattering, when zenith angle is 60 ^{o} . Take the following data:

Wave length, λ =2.0 μm Total pressure, p=0.99 bar Dust particles concentration at ground, d=800/cm3

Depth of precipitable water, w=20mm

Assume monochromatic atmospheric transmittance considering absorption only = 0.6

Attenuation of Solar Radiation

( s )

( abs)

(

s

)

where,

a

a

p / 760

d

d

/ 800

w

w

10

-0.00389

-4

, where,

/ 20

m

is in micrometre s

total pressure, p in mm

d

10

-0.0353

-0.75

of H g

where, d - average dust particles at ground 800/cm

w

10

-0.0075

-2

3

where, w - amount of water vapour in the air column above the observer

& air mass, m

1

Distribution of Annual Sunshine hours

•It can be seen from Fig. that Rajasthan, Gujarat, west Madhya Pradesh and north Maharashtra receive more than 3000 to

3200 hours of bright sunshine in a year.

•Over 2600 to 2800 hours of bright sunshine are available over the rest of the country, except Kerala, the north-

eastern states, and J& K where they are

appreciably lower. •During monsoon (June – August), a significant decrease in sunshine occurs

over the whole country except Jammu

and Kashmir where the maximum duration of sunshine •occurs in June and July, and minimum

in January due to its location.

•The north-eastern states and south-east peninsula also receive relatively less sunshine during October and November

due to the north-east monsoons.

Distribution of annual global solar radiation (kWh/m ^{2} -year)

More than 2000 kWh/m ^{2} -year are received over Rajasthan and Gujarat, while east Bihar, north West Bengal and the north-eastern states receive less than 1700 kWh/m ^{2} -year

Distribution of annual diffuse solar radiation (kWh/m ^{2} -year)

The annual pattern shows a minimum of 740 kWh/m ^{2} -year over Rajasthan increasing eastwards to 840 kWh/m ^{2} -year in the north-eastern states, and south wards to 920 kWh/m ^{2} -year.

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn: Located at 23.5 degrees North and 23.5 degrees South of the Equator, this area of Planet Earth (between those two lines) is known as the "Tropics“ . This area experiences no

dramatic change in season because the sun is consistently high in the sky throughout the year.

People living North of the Tropic of Cancer and South of the Tropic of Capricorn experience dramatic seasonal climate changes, based on the earth's tilt, and the subsequent angle of the sun.

Map of the Hemispheres

Solstice

There are two solstice days each year corresponding to the longest day (the summer solstice) and shortest day (the winter solstice). The days of these events depend on the hemisphere:

The solstices occur because the rotation axis of the Earth is tilted by an angle of

23.5 degrees from the vertical. If the Earth's rotation was at right angles to the plane of its orbit around the Sun, there would be no solstice days and no seasons.

Around 21 June, the Sun is at its most northerly declination (+23.5 degrees). This

corresponds to the northern summer solstice and marks the longest day of

the year for northern hemisphere observers.

In contrast, this is the date of the southern winter solstice and marks the shortest day of the year for southern hemisphere observers. Six months later, the Sun is at its most southerly declination (-23.5 degrees) and the solstices are reversed in each hemisphere.

Solstice

Around 21 June, the Sun is at its most northerly declination (+23.5 degrees). This corresponds to the northern summer solstice and marks the longest day of the year for northern hemisphere observers.

Solstice

In contrast, this is the date (21 June) of the southern winter solstice and marks the shortest day of the year for southern hemisphere observers. Six months later, the Sun is at its most southerly declination (-23.5 degrees) and the solstices are reversed in each hemisphere.

Solar angles

The apparent motion of the sun, caused by the rotation of the Earth about its axis, changes the angle at which the direct component of

light will strike the Earth. From a fixed location on Earth, the sun appears to move throughout the

sky. The position of the

sun depends on the location of a point on Earth, the time of day and the time of year

obvious

apparent motion of the

The

most

sun is that

daily

the

highest point at midday

it

moves

in

sky,

an

arc across

its

reaching

Solar angles

The position of a point P on earth's surface with respect to sun's ray is known at any instant if following angles are

known:

Latitude angle (L),

Hour angle (h) & Sun’s declination angle (δ) .

Declination angle is the angle between a line extending from the centre of the earth, and the projection of this line upon the earth’s equatorial plane.

The declination angle, denoted by δ, varies seasonally due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis of rotation and the rotation of the Earth around the sun. If the Earth were not tilted on its axis of rotation, the declination

would always be 0°. However, the Earth is tilted by 23.45° and the

declination angle varies plus or minus this amount. Only at the spring and fall equinoxes is the declination angle equal to 0°.

Solar angles

The declination is zero at the equinoxes (March 21 and

September 21), positive during the northern hemisphere

summer and negative during the northern hemisphere winter. The declination reaches a maximum of 23.45° on June 21 (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere) and a minimum of

-23.45° on December 21 (winter solstice in the northern

hemisphere).

Solar angles

Easy reference of declination angle

Hour angle, h

x (Number of minutes from local solar noon)

1 hour = 0.25 rad, or 15 o , thus 4 min =1 o or h= ±(ST-12)15

where, ST- Solar Time

Latitude is used to express

north or south you

are, relative to the equator.

how far

If you are on the equator your

latitude is zero.

If you are near the north pole your latitude is nearly 90 degrees north. If you are near the south pole

your latitude is almost 90

degrees south.

Latitude angle, L

It is the angle between a line OP and the projection OP on

the earth’s

angle

(or) defined

equatorial plane

as

the

between a line from the center

of |
the |
earth |
to |
the |
site |
of |

interest |
and |
the |
equatorial |
|||

plane. |

Longitude shows your location in an east-west direction, relative to the Greenwich meridian.

Places to the east of Greenwich (such as Middle East, India and Japan) have longitude angles up to 180 degrees east. Places to the west of Greenwich (such as the Atlantic and North and South America) have angles up to 180 deg west.

Lines of Latitude

Lines of Longitude

Lines of Latitude & Longitude on Flat map

Angle of the arc from the equator to

our position (latitude) and from the

Greenwich Meridian to our position

(longitude)

Latitude: 13°05′16″ N

Longitude: 80°16′42″ E

Chennai

Location

Elevation (or) Altitude angle, α

It

projection of the sun’s rays on the horizontal plane and the direction of

the

is

a

vertical

angle

between

sun’s rays (passing through point).

The elevation angle varies throughout the day. It also depends on the latitude of a particular location and the day of the year

Sunrise

Sun position -

around 9.30

am

Sun position at noon

Sun position - around 3.00 pm

Sunset

Zenith angle, Ф

Zenith angle is complimentary angle of sun’s altitude angle. It’s a vertical angle

between the sun’s rays and a line

perpendicular to the horizon (horizontal plane) through the point.

i.e. It is a angle between the beam from the sun and the vertical.

Altitude angle is also related to the solar Zenith Angle.

Azimuth angle, z

At the equinoxes, the sun rises directly east and sets directly west regardless of the latitude, thus making the azimuth angles 90° at sunrise and 270° at sunset.

Sunrise

Sun position -

around 9.30 am

Sun position at noon (z=0 ^{o} )

Sunset

Azimuth angle, z

Sunrise h sr , Sunset h ss and Day length

The sun is said to rise and set when the solar altitude angle (α) is 0

OR the zenith angle (Ф) is 90 ^{o} .

So, the hour angle at sunset, h _{s}_{s} , (or, sunrise, h _{s}_{r} )can be found by

[wkt, sin α = cos Ф; i.e. sin (0) = cos (90)]

Sunrise h sr , Sunset h ss and Day length

cont…

wkt, each 15° of longitude equivalent to 1 h

Solar Time

Correction 1 : Equation of Time (ET)

Due to factors associated with the earth’s orbit around the sun, the earth’s orbital velocity varies throughout the year, so the apparent solar time varies slightly from the mean time kept by a clock running at a uniform rate. The variation is called the equation of time (ET).

The values of the equation of time as a function of the day of the year

(N) can be obtained approximately from the following equations:

ET = 9.87 sin (2B) - 7.53 cos (B) -1.5 sin (B),

where, B=(N-81) (360/364)

[min]

Solar Time

cont…

A graphical representation of variation of ET

Correction 2 : Longitude correction The sun takes 4 min to transverse 1° of longitude, a longitude correction term of 4 (Standard longitude - Local longitude) should be either added or subtracted to the standard clock time of the locality.

+ve sign for western and –ve sign for eastern hemisphere (eg: India

Therefore, Solar Time = Standard Time ± 4 (longitude _{s}_{t}_{d} - longitude _{l}_{o}_{c}_{a}_{l} ) + ET

Therefore, z=65.67 ^{o}

_{s}_{s} ) = -tan (40) tan (23.35), h _{s}_{s} = 111.23/15 = 7h 41 min h _{r}_{s} = 12-7.41 = 4h 59 min

The solar incidence angle,θ, is the

angle between the sun’s rays and

the normal on a surface. For a horizontal plane, the incidence angle,θ, and the zenith angle, Φ, are the same.

Surface azimuth angle (Z _{s} ) is the angle made in the horizontal plane between the horizontal line due south and the projection of the normal to the surface on the horizontal plane. This angle will vary from -180 ^{o} to +180 ^{o} . This angle is considered as +ve if the normal is east of south and -ve if west of south.

Solar azimuth angle (Z) is the

angle made in the horizontal plane

between the horizontal line due south and the projection of the sun’s rays on the horizontal plane. This angle is taken to be +ve if the projection of sun’s rays is east of

south and negative if west of

south.

The slope β is the angle made by the plane surface with the horizontal. This angle will vary from 0 ^{o} to 180 ^{o} .

EQ. (2)

Equation (2) is a general relationship for the angle of

incidence on a surface of any orientation

2

Note: If, vertical surface facing due south, β=0 and Z _{s} =0)

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