Atmospheric Renewable Energy Research, Volume 5 (Solar Radiation Flux Model)

Report No. ARL-TR-8155
Authors: Clayton Walker, Gail Vaucher
Date/Pages: September 2017; 46 pages
Abstract: This report documents a program coded in MATLAB, for renewable energy applications that was based on Ralph Shapiro's Solar Radiation Flux Model. Shapiro's approach was chosen based on its use of insitu-only measurement input. There exist numerous factors in the realm of solar radiation that limit the total amount of flux received at the ground level after traversing the atmosphere. The model encoded sought to simplify these variables and implement them into an algorithm to predict the net solar radiation flux received at ground level throughout the entire solar day. The model represents the atmosphere as a series of 3 homogeneous layers, and quantifies the effects on the vertical radiation in terms of reflectance, transmittance, and absorption. These 3 terms are a function of cloud type, thickness, and current atmospheric conditions. An introduction to the model's purpose, necessity, and development is detailed in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 describes Model equations and data tables, which are summarized in a model algorithm flowchart. A preliminary comparison between the model output and data sampled by an Atmospheric Renewable Energy Field Study #2 (ARE2) pyranometer during a clear sky day is provided in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 summarizes the model results and offers recommendations for future tactical energy unit independence applications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2017