Evaluation of Clearness Index and Cloudiness Index using Measured Global Solar Radiation Data: A Case Study for a Tropical Climatic Region of Nigeria

Evaluation of clearness index and cloudiness index using measured global solar radiation data: A case study for a tropical climatic region of Nigeria

Olanrewaju Olukemi Soneye


This study uses a two-year dataset (January 2016-December 2017) on global solar radiation to model the clearness and cloudiness indices at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, a tropical location. Analysis of the daily variations showed that most days at the location are uniform in cloudiness, with scarcely any day either extremely cloudy or extremely clear. On a monthly basis, the clearness index ranged from 0.27 to 0.51, while cloudiness index ranged from 0.44 to 0.72, confirming that the variations of both ratios are influenced by changes in the position of the sun, turbidity and clouds. The seasonal variations of the two parameters were observed to be inverse, so that increases in the clearness index induced by cloudless sky and dry months correspond to decreases in the cloudiness index values and vice versa. The minimum values (0.10 and 0.28) of the clearness index at the location are observed to be higher than the minimum value of 0.05 stipulated for the clearness index in cloudy conditions. Two empirical equations for estimating the maximum clearness index in terms of the average clearness index and the cloudiness index in terms of the clearness index are developed and recommended for other locations with climatological conditions similar to those of the study site. It was furthermore observed from the evaluation of formulated empirical equations that the Hollands and Huget and the Saunier et al. models performed well and improved by about 23.62 and 3.66%, respectively, after calibration, to make the models suitable for their application at other tropical areas. 


global solar radiation; diffuse solar radiation; clearness index; cloudiness index; tropical climatic region

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