Acta Polytechnica (Jan 2001)
Comparison Between Atmospheric Turbidity Coefficients of Desert and Temperate Climates
Knowledge of the solar radiation available on the earth’s surface is essential for the development of solar energy devices and for estimating of their performance efficiencies. For this purpose it is helpful to study the attenuation of direct normal irradiance by the atmosphere, in terms of fundamental quantities, including optical thickness, relative optical air mass, water vapor content, and aerosol amount. In the present article, we will not deal with cloudy atmospheres because of their great variability in space and time, but will focus our attention on atmospheres characterized by the complete absence of condensed water. The objectives of this article are to report data on aerosol optical depth and atmospheric turbidity coefficients for a desert climate, and to compare them with those of a temperate climate. Aerosol optical depth, the Linke turbidity factor, TL, and ngström turbidity coefficients, _, are calculated from measurements of broadband filters at Helwan, Egypt, which has a desert climate. A linear regression model is to be determined between the Linke factor and the ngström turbidity coefficient. This relation is compared with similar relations reported for a temperate climate [Prague, Czech Republic]. This comparison is made to determine whether a universal relation exists between these two important coefficients, or whether the relation is location dependent.