Evaluation of Clear Sky Models for Satellite-Based Irradiance Estimates

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report describes an intercomparison of three popular broadband clear sky solar irradiance model results with measured data, as well as satellite-based model clear sky results compared to measured clear sky data. The authors conclude that one of the popular clear sky models (the Bird clear sky model developed by Richard Bird and Roland Hulstrom) could serve as a more accurate replacement forcurrent satellite-model clear sky estimations. Additionally, the analysis of the model results with respect to model input parameters indicates that rather than climatological, annual, or monthly mean input data, higher-time-resolution input parameters improve the general clear sky model performance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages42
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-60735


  • clear sky models
  • irradiance
  • solar forecasting


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