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Analysis of short-term solar radiation data

Vijayakumar, G. and Kummert, M. and Klein, S.A. and Beckman, W.A. (2005) Analysis of short-term solar radiation data. Solar Energy, 79 (5). pp. 495-504. ISSN 0038-092X

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Abstract

Solar radiation data are available for many locations on an hourly basis. Simulation studies of solar energy systems have generally used these hourly values to estimate long-term annual performance, although solar radiation can exhibit wide variations during an hour. Variations in solar radiation during an hour, such as on a minute basis, could result in inaccurate performance estimates for systems that respond quickly and non-linearly to solar radiation. In addition, diffuse fraction regressions and cumulative frequency distribution curves have been developed using hourly data and the accuracy of these regressions when applied to short-term radiation has not been established. The purpose of this research is to investigate the inaccuracies caused by using hourly rather than short-term (i.e., minute and 3 min) radiation data on the estimated performance of solar energy systems. The inaccuracies are determined by examination of the frequency distribution and diffuse fraction relationships for short-term solar radiation data as compared to existing regressions and by comparing calculated radiation on tilted surfaces and utilizability based on hourly and short-term radiation data.