Potentials of Solar Radiation

Engr. Dr. Muhammad Nawaz Iqbal

The average annual solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is around 1361 W/m2. On a clear day, the solar rays are attenuated as they pass through the atmosphere, resulting in a maximum normal surface irradiance of around 1000 W/m2 at sea level. Direct sun is roughly 1050 W/m2 when 1361 W/m2 arrives above the atmosphere (when the sun is near the zenith in a cloudless sky), and global radiation on a horizontal surface at ground level is about 1120 W/m2. Radiation dispersed or reemitted by the atmosphere and surroundings is included in the latter figure. When a surface is directly facing (normal to) the sun, the amount of insolation it receives is greatest. The insolation decreases in proportion to the angle’s cosine as the angle between the surface and the Sun moves away from normal; see influence of sun angle on climate. Figures of sun irradiation are used to design the installation of solar power plants. The values can be achieved from an insolation map or insolation tables that represent data from the previous 30–50 years in many nations. Different solar power methods can utilize various aspects of total irradiance. Photovoltaic panels are assessed under standard conditions to get the Wp (watt peak) rating, which can then be combined with insolation to calculate predicted output, with tilt, tracking, and shading variables taken into account (which are involved to create the installed Wp rating).

Climate modelling and weather forecasting both use irradiance. A non-zero average worldwide net radiation above the atmosphere indicates that the Earth is in a state of thermal disequilibrium due to climate forcing.

It’s unclear how the lower 2014 TSI number will affect climate models. For climate models, a few tenths of a percent change in the absolute TSI level is often considered insignificant. The new data necessitates changes to climate model parameters.

To quantify climatic response processes to radiative forcing on decadal time scales, improved instrument stability paired with accurate global surface temperature observations is required.

The majority of the radiation that reaches an object is absorbed, while the rest is reflected. The absorbed radiation is usually transformed to thermal energy, which raises the temperature of the object. However, as in the case of photovoltaic cells or plants, man-made or natural systems can transform a portion of the received radiation into another form, such as energy or chemical bonds.

The optical profundity is conversely corresponding to the projection impact, that is to say, to the cosine of the zenith point, when the density of absorbers is layered, that is, when it depends significantly more on vertical than horizontal position in the atmosphere. Because transmittance drops exponentially as optical depth increases, as the sun approaches the horizon, absorption takes over projection for the remainder of the day.

The sphericity of the Earth and its orbital characteristics determine the dispersal of solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere. Any unidirectional beam incident on a revolving sphere falls into this category. For mathematical climate forecast and getting seasons and climatic change, insolation is critical.

Direct Normal Irradiance also known as beam radiation, is measured at a particular place on the Earth’s surface with a surface component opposite to the Sun. It is not affected by diffuse sun (radiation that is dispersed or reflected by environmental parts). Extraterrestrial irradiance over the air neglecting atmospheric losses due to absorption and scattering equals direct irradiance. Time of day (length of light journey through atmosphere based on solar elevation angle), cloud cover, moisture content, and other factors all affect losses.