Determination of Ångström's turbidity coefficient from direct total solar irradiance measurements

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<ul><li><p>Solar Energy Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 89-%, 1987 0038-092X/87 $3.00 + .00 Printed in the U.S.A. 1987 Pergamon Journals Ltd. </p><p>DETERMINATION OF ANGSTROM'S TURBIDITY COEFFICIENT FROM DIRECT TOTAL SOLAR </p><p>IRRADIANCE MEASUREMENTS </p><p>A. LOUCHE,f M. MAUREL, G. SIMONNOT, G. PERI and M. IQBAL~ Laboratoire d'H~lio6nerg6tique, Universit6 de Corse/CNRS UA 877, Vignola--Route des </p><p>Sanguinaires, 20000 Ajaccio, France </p><p>(Received 5 November 1985; revision received 12 June 1986; accepted 23 July 1986) </p><p>Ahstract--A method of determining ,~,ngstrOm's turbidity coefficient from the measured total (broad- band) direct normal solar irradiance is described here. This direct normal irradiance can be expressed in terms of the individual transmittances of the various atmospheric attenuators, such as ozone layer thickness, precipitable water vapor thickness, and ct and 13 of the Angstr6m's turbidity formula. From the resulting parameterization equation, an explicit expression for 13 is obtained. By assigning a fixed value to or, the value of IB is determined. Use of this method is demonstrated with data from Ajaccio (France), a mediterranean coastal station. </p><p>1. INTRODUCTION </p><p>Strength of the solar beam as it enters the earth's atmosphere is attenuated by absorption and scat- tering. Absorption by the molecules and the atoms is in discreet wavelengths. The main gaseous ab- sorbers are 03, 02, H20 and CO2. All atmospheric gases and aerosols scatter solar radiation at all wavelengths. The aerosols also absorb radiation somewhat continuously in wavelength. However, absorption by the aerosols is much smaller than scattering by the aerosols. </p><p>The attenuation of the solar beam as it traverses from the top of the atmosphere and reaches the ground varies with the mass of the gases and aer- osols it encounters in its path. The concentration of N2, 02 and CO2 in the atmosphere remains more or less constant in time and space. However, the total amount of 03 in the vertical direction varies with latitude and season. Its average values are tab- ulated in the literature (Robinson[l]) or can be es- timated (Van Heuken[2]). </p><p>The total amount of water vapor in the atmo- sphere in the vertical direction is highly variable and depends on the instantaneous local conditions. However, this amount, generally expressed as pre- cipitable water thickness, can be readily computed through a number of standard routine atmospheric observations, such as relative humidity, ambient temperature, dewpoint temperature or vapor pres- sure. The precipitable water vapor thickness can vary from 0.0 to 5 cm. Iqbal[3] has summarized some of the most commonly used methods of com- puting the precipitable water vapor thickness. </p><p>t Author to whom correspondence should be ad- dressed. </p><p>On sabbatical leave from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada. </p><p>89 </p><p>Suspended particles within the atmosphere, called aerosols, display considerable diversity in volume, size, form and material composition. These particles are either of terrestrial origin or of marine origin. Their size ranges in radius from 10 -3 to 10 2 ~m. </p><p>An atmosphere containing aerosols is called tur- bid. A property of an aerosol-laden atmosphere that depletes the incoming extraterrestrial solar radia- tion is called, atmospheric turbidity. The amount of aerosols present in the atmosphere in the vertical direction has been represented in terms of the num- ber of particles per cubic meter or their weight in micrograms per cubic meter. However, it is more common to represent the amount of aerosols by an index of turbidity. Three indices of turbidity have been proposed. Their brief description follows. </p><p>The Linke turbidity factor. TL is an index of the number of clean dry atmospheres that would be necessary to produce the attenuation of the extra- terrestrial radiation that is produced by the real at- mosphere. Its value can vary from 1 to 10. This index is a wavelength integrated quantity and meth- ods of its determination using pyrheliometric mea- surements are well documented in classic texts, such as Robinson[l], Coulson[4] and in WMO[5]. It is a useful parameter for comparison of cloudless atmospheric conditions; however, it has one seri- ous drawback. This turbidity factor varies with air mass even when the atmospheric conditions remain constant. </p><p>The amount of aerosols present in the atmo- sphere in the vertical direction can also be repre- sented by an index called .4ngstriSm's turbidity coefficient, 13, proposed by /kngstrrm[6-8]. The value of 13 varies typically from 0.0 to 0.5. /~ng- strrm's turbidity formula also gives an index of av- erage aerosol size distribution represented by a. For most natural atmospheres et = 1.3 -+ 0.5. The </p></li><li><p>90 A. LOUCHE et al. </p><p>two parameters, a and 13, enter into the/~ngstr6m's turbidity formula for aerosol spectral attenuation coefficient as follows: </p><p>k~x = 13 h-~, (1) </p><p>where kax is the monochromatic aerosol attenuation coefficient also called aerosol optical depth in ver- tical direction, and h is the wavelength in microm- eters. </p><p>There are a number of techniques to measure a and 13. Dual wavelengths sunphotometer is used to determine k~x at two wavelengths where molecular absorption is either absent or is negligible. The wavelengths usually chosen are 0.38 and 0.5 ~m. This method is very accurate and yields simultane- ously the values of a and 13. However, 13 can be measured at h = 1 ~m with a single wavelength Volz instrument, and from eqn (1) it is obvious that at this wavelength the effect of a disappears. In field measurements, it is common to determine 13 from pyrheliometric measurements with 0-0.630 p.m RG 630 filter (RG2 in old nomenclature). </p><p>Atmospheric turbidity is closely related to hor- izontal visibility called meteorological optical range. King and Buckius[9], based on the work of others, have given a simple expression relating vis- ibility to a and 13. However, accurate measurements of visibility are rarely recorded to determine 13. Fur- thermore, in this article we are interested in deter- mination of 13 through total pyrheliometric mea- surements. </p><p>The third index, Schiiepp turbidity coefficient B[10] refers to measurement of direct spectral ir- radiance at 0.5 o.m and is related to Angstrrm's coefficient by </p><p>B = 132~ log e. (2) </p><p>At a = 1.3, the above reduces to B = 1.06913. Representation of atmospheric turbidity through </p><p>Angstr6m's turbidity coefficient is very common. Unlike Linke's turbidity factor, ,&amp;ngstr6m's turbid- ity coefficient can be employed in calculation of spectral direct and diffuse solar irradiance. Turbid- ity measurements are part of the WMO air-pollution network activity and all data are lodged at the Na- tional climatic center (NCC), Asheville, N.C., USA. Several workers have reported regional and local variations of turbidity, for instance, Flowers et al.[11], Mani et al.[12], Sadler[13], Katz et al.[14, 15] and Ideriah[16]. </p><p>In this article, a simple approach is described to determine 13 under cloudless skies. A value of a is assumed. This approach is based on the measured values of the broad-band (total) direct solar irra- diance. Routine observations of the direct total solar irradiance are made at a number of stations around the world. These observations are either of (a) the direct normal irradiance measured by a pyr- heliometer, or of (b) the direct horizontal global ir- </p><p>radiance, obtained through the substraction of the horizontal diffuse from the horizontal global irra- diance, the former measured by a shaded and the latter by an unshaded pyranometer. </p><p>Most solar thermal power plants use reflectors to concentrate radiation. The concentration sys- tems operate best under cloudless skies. A knowl- edge of the atmospheric turbidity coefficient is very important to predict the availability of solar radia- tion under cloudless skies. This ability to predict direct radiation is essential for design of solar ther- mal power plants and other solar energy conversion devices with concentration systems. The turbidity parameter 13 is also required in order to determine the amount of spectral global irradiance for design of photovoltaic systems, and calculation of the pho- tosynthetic energy for plant growth. </p><p>In the next section we present the mathematical approach to evaluate 13. </p><p>2. MATHEMATICAL FORMULATION </p><p>The total direct normal irradiance (from now on- ward simply called normal irradiance) can be ex- pressed in terms of the individual transmittances of the different atmospheric parameters. For cloudless skies, a number of such expressions based on the so-called parameterization method are available in the literature and some of the more well-known expressions are summarized by Iqbal[3]. Bird and Hulstrom's parameterization formulation[17, 18] as given by Iqbal[3] is considered to be fairly accurate and is used in this study. According to this for- mulation, at a given instant, the normal solar irra- diance In (in W m -2) can be written as </p><p>In = 0.9751Eo)~Tr~o%rwra, (3) </p><p>where Eo is the earth's eccentricity correction fac- tor and I~ is the solar constant, 1367 W m -2. For completeness, we list below the various transmit- tances and other necessary formulas. The transmittance by Rayleigh scattering is </p><p>Tr = exp[-0.0903m84(1.0 + ma - m~l)], (4) </p><p>where ma is the air mass, duly modified by station pressure, </p><p>ma = mr(P /Po) . (5) </p><p>In the above, mr is the air mass at standard con- dition, given by Kasten[19] as </p><p>mr = [cos 0z + 0.15(93.885 - 0z)-1'253]-1 (6) </p><p>and 0z is the zenith angle. The transmittance by ozone is as follows: </p><p>"to = 1 -[0.1611U3(1.0 + 139.48/_/3) -'335 </p><p>- 0.002715U3(1.0 + 0.044U3 + 0.0003U32) - I ] </p><p>(7) </p></li><li><p>where </p><p>Determination of ,~ngstr6m's turbidity coefficient </p><p>U3 = lrnr (8) </p><p>and l is the thickness (in cm) of the total amount of ozone in the vertical direction, reduced to standard pressure. The long-term spacial and temporal varia- tions of I are tabulated in [1, 3]. </p><p>The transmittance by uniformly mixed gases, es- sentially 02 and CO2 is given by </p><p>% = exp(-0.0127rn26). (9) </p><p>The transmittance by water vapor is as follows: </p><p>Tw = 1 - 2.4959U1[(1.0 + 79.034U0 6828 </p><p>+ 6.385U1] -1, (10) </p><p>where </p><p>UI ~ Wmr, </p><p>and w is the precipitable water thickness. In this study, Leckner's formula[20] is used to obtain w: </p><p>w = 0.493(qbr/T)exp(26.23 - 5416/T), (12) </p><p>where T is ambient temperature in degrees Kelvin and +r is relative humidity in fractions of one. </p><p>The expression for the aerosol transmittance is obtained from [3, 21, 22] and is given below: </p><p>To = (0 .12445c~ - 0 .0162) + (1 .003 - 0.125c0 </p><p> exp[-13m,(1.089c~ + 0.5123)]. (13) </p><p>Combining (3) to (13), an explicit expression for 13 can be written as </p><p>where </p><p>and </p><p>13 : maD \A - B ' , I ' </p><p>A = "I,,/(0.975Eo'Is~'rr'ro'rg'rw), </p><p>B' = 0.12445a - 0.0162, </p><p>C = 1.003 - 0.125c~ </p><p>D = 1.089c~ + 0.5123. </p><p>It is because of the parameterization of aerosol transmittance, eqn (13) that 13 can be explicitly ob- tained from total direct irradiance measurements. It is only recently[3, 21, 22] that the aerosol trans- mittance has been parametrized in this manner. </p><p>The spectral or filter measurements of 13 do not require water vapor or ozone content of the at- mosphere. However, the present method requires this information. As an illustration of the use of the present method, determination of 13 at Ajaccio (41 </p><p>91 </p><p>55'N, 8 3YE, 90 m asl) a coastal mediterranean station now follows. </p><p>3. DATA, RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS </p><p>At the Laboratoire d'H61io6nerg~tique, Ajaccio, routine measurements of the normal irradiance using an automatic polar mounted Eppley model NIP pyrheliometer are being carried out since Oc- tober 1983. The present study includes data until September 1985. Tables of the average hourly flux summed at the end of each hour are available in a standard format. Also available are the daily traces of the normal irradiance. A typical example of such a trace is shown in Fig. 1. Deviations from a circular profile are during the moments when visible clouds are in line of sight from the observer to the sun. From these traces, all hours when the clouds did not intervene were identified. This yielded values of In from which values of 13 were computed; a total of 1175 data points. </p><p>(11) It is necessary to add here that when the sky is covered by a thin cloud throughout a day, the trace of normal flux will also have a circularform. There- fore, a visual inspection of the sky is useful to en- sure that the direct beam is uninterrupted by the clouds at the moment of observation. This is a pro- cedure followed when turbidity is measured by the spectral radiometers. </p><p>Due to the lack of local data on ozone, the av- erage values of the ozone layer thickness as given in Robinson[l] were used. For the latitude of Ajac- cio, average ozone layer thickness varies from 0.27 to 0.34 cm. It is known that attenuation by ozone is very small. Therefore, lack of exact data has only a minimal effect on the calculation of [3. </p><p>The relative humidity and ambient temperature data were obtained from the local office of meteo- rology. These data were used to calculate precip- itable water thickness from eqn (12). The values of </p><p>(14) w ranged from 0.5 cm in winter to 5 cm in summer. At these levels of the atmospheric water vapor, slight inaccuracies in the calculation of w are not </p><p>(15) important. This is demonstrated through Fig. 2. Slight variations in w when w is very low has a pro- </p><p>(16) nounced effect on 1~ n compared to when w is high. (17) Furthermore, this effect remains independent of the </p><p>zenith angle. The station pressure was necessary to compute correct values of the air mass. This too </p><p>(18) was obtained from the local office of meteorology. The relative humidity and ambient temperature </p><p>data were taken at the synoptic hours, at every three hours of the standard time beginning mid- night. On the other hand, the radiation data were taken at the true solar time. Therefore, the relative humidity and temperature data had to be interpo- lated to correspond to the true solar time. As shown above, any error in the calculation of w through a linear interpolation will have a minimal effect, be- cause values of w were mostly quite high. </p><p>In the foregoing we have outlined the procedure </p></li><li><p>92 </p><p>1000~ ' 3= </p><p>. . .~ </p><p>800 - U,.I (3 </p><p>z I o &lt; 600 _. </p><p>. J &lt; </p><p>=E 400 </p><p>0 Z </p><p>I- (3 u 200 m C~ </p><p>A. LOUCHE et al. </p><p>I ' ' I ' ' I ' ' I i , I J ' I ' ' ! ' </p><p>Ajaccio </p><p>(4155'N ; 833 'E ) </p><p>~'~ 11 JULY 1985 </p><p>0 3 6 9 NOON 15 18 </p><p>TRUE SOLAR TIME </p><p>Fig. 1. The diurnal variation of direct normal irradiance. </p><p>21 24 </p><p>I </p><p>E 3= </p><p>1000 </p><p>03 =0.35 c =1.3 8=0.22 </p><p>900 ~ </p><p>tU </p><p>z &lt; a &lt; Ix </p><p>-~ 800 </p><p>. J &lt; </p><p>0 z </p><p>I.- 700 (3 U.I n,, </p><p>6O0 0 </p><p>ZENITH ANGLE 0 </p><p>S </p><p>I t I , I , I 1 2 3 4 </p><p>30 </p><p>6o o </p><p>PRECIP ITABLE WATER w cm i </p><p>Fig. 2. Direct normal irradiance as a function of precipitable water and zenith angle. </p></li><li><p>Determination of ,~ngstrrm's turbidity coefficient </p><p>to obtain ~/,, O3 and w. We assumed a = 1.3. From eqn (13) [3 can be readily obtained. In this manner the valu...</p></li></ul>