A method to generate synthetic hourly solar radiation globally

V. A. Graham, K. G.T. Hollands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


This paper develops a stochastic procedure for generating synthetic sets of hourly solar irradiation values, suitable for use in solar simulation design work. The daily atmospheric transmittance Kt for the day in question is broken down into hourly irradiation events by a stochastic disaggregation procedure. The necessary disaggregation models were constructed using the quasi-universal hourly atmospheric transmittance kt, instead of the irradiation itself, as the random variable. Analyses of meteorological records revealed that both the marginal probability and stochastic features of sets of hourly events kt within an individual day can be closely predicted using the Kt for the day. Results indicated that the parameters defining the disaggregation procedure were independent of geographical location. The values of kt are found to be closely modeled by a Beta distribution, and a mean correlation coefficient between successive hourly values of kt was found to be 0.54±0.14. An algorithm is described from which unlimited hourly solar irradiation data may, therefore, be generated using only the 12 monthly means of daily events, Kt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A method to generate synthetic hourly solar radiation globally'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this