Solar Radiation Data Manual
Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors

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For designers and engineers of solar energy-related systems, the Solar Radiation Data Manual for Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors gives the solar resource available for various types of collectors for the United States and its territories. The data in the manual were modeled using hourly values of direct beam and diffuse horizontal solar radiation from the National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB). The NSRDB contians modeled (93%) and measured (7%) global horizontal, diffuse horizontal, and direct beam solar radiation for 1961-1990.

This manual was produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Analytic Studies Division under the Solar Radiation Resource Assessment Project Task No. RA310102 and the Photovoltaic Solar Radiation Research Task No. PV360501. These tasks were funded and monitored by the Photovoltaics Branch of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The authors would like to acknowledge Charles Gay (UNISUN), Dave Menicucci (Sandia National Laboratories), Tom Ross (National Climatic Data Center), Frank Vignola (University of Oregon), and NREL staff memebers Carol Riordan, Dave Renne, Roland Hulstrom, Daryl Myers, Martin Rymes, and Tom Stoffel for their contributions to the manual and for their review.

In the early stages of developing the manual, we received suggestions and recommendations from more than 70 people on what they would like the manual to contain. This group consisted of designers, installers, manufacturers, consultants, university and national laboratory researchers, utility engineers, meteorologists, and state energy office staff. We appreciate their efforts and hope that this manual meets their expectations.


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