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Effects of Sky Conditions Measured by the Clearness Index on the Estimation of Solar Radiation Using a Digital Elevation Model

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DOI: 10.4236/acs.2013.34064    5,321 Downloads   7,417 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the effects of sky conditions (measured by the clearness index, KT) on the estimation of solar radiation and its components. Solar radiation was calculated by a digital elevation model derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The calculated radiation was parameterized and validated with measured solar radiation from two stations inside the urban perimeter of the city of Cuiabá, Brazil, during 2006 to 2008. The measured solar radiation varied seasonally, with the highest values in December-March and the lowest in June-September. Comparisons between calculated and measured values for two sites in Cuiabá demonstrate that the model is accurate for daily Rg estimates under clear sky conditions based on Root Mean Square Error, Mean Bias Error and Willmott’s index. However, under partially cloudy and cloudy sky conditions the model was not able to provide robust estimates. Spatially, the highest values of incident Rg occurred on strands with North, Northeast and Northwest orientations and were lowest on those oriented to the South, Southeast and Southwest.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Alves, L. Sanches, J. Nogueira and V. Silva, "Effects of Sky Conditions Measured by the Clearness Index on the Estimation of Solar Radiation Using a Digital Elevation Model," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2013, pp. 618-626. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.34064.

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