A Model for the Angular Distribution of Sky Radiance

[+] Author and Article Information
F. C. Hooper, A. P. Brunger

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

J. Sol. Energy Eng 102(3), 196-202 (Aug 01, 1980) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266154 History: Online November 11, 2009


A flexible mathematical model is introduced which describes the radiance of the dome of the sky under various conditions. This three-component continuous distribution (TCCD) model is compounded by the superposition of three separate terms, isotropic, circumsolar and horizon-brightening factors, each representing the contribution of a distinguishable sky characteristic. In use, a particular sky condition is characterized by the values of the coefficients of each of these three terms, defining the distribution of the total diffuse component. The TCCD model has been demonstrated to fit both the normalized clear sky data and the normalized overcast sky data with an RMS error of about ten percent of the mean overall sky radiance. By extension the model could describe variable or partly clouded sky conditions. The model will permit improvement in the prediction of the total solar radiation incident upon a surface of given tilt and orientation, such as that of a solar collector.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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