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Sun Angle Calculator
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System Performance Model
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Power From The Sun

by William B. Stine and Michael Geyer

copyright 2001 by William B. Stine and Michael Geyer

News Flash! The Solar Angle Calculator, the Solar Time Calculator and the System Performance Model are now up and running...try them!

NOTE TO READER:  Click on an equation and it will double in size for better readability!


Chapter 1.   Solar Energy Conversion Systems

Chapter 2.   The Sun's Energy

Chapter 3.  The Sun's Position

Chapter 4.  Collecting Solar Energy

Chapter 5.  Solar Collectors

Chapter 6.  Flat Plate Thermal Collectors

Chapter 7.  Photovoltaic Panels

Chapter 8.   Concentrator Optics

Chapter 9.   Concentrating Collectors

Chapter 10.   Central Receiver Systems

Chapter 11.   Energy Storage

Chapter 12.   Power Cycles for Electricity Generation

Chapter 13.   Economic & Environmental Considerations

Chapter 14.  Modeling System Performance

Chapter 15.   System Design

Chapter 16.   System Design Examples

Appendix A.   Symbols and Sign Conventions

Appendix B.   Units Conversion Factors

Appendix C.   Sun Angle Geometry Notes

Appendix D.   Useful Properties of Materials, Fluids and Gases

Appendix E.   Description and Use of TMY Data

Appendix F.   Local Solar Irradiation Data for the United States

Appendix G.   Analytical Approximation of the Normal Integral

Appendix H.   Computer Code Listings

Update  News:  We are constantly working to add material and make our site more useful.  To this end, we have recently done the following:

  • Corrected sign in Equation 4-19 and in the Solar Angle Calculator so that the tracking axis tilt azimuth angle has the same sign convention as the sun azimuth angle (CW is positive with North being zero).  Thanks to Michael Hashmi   (3/4/14).
  • Corrected typo in Eqn. (4-18) by placing parentheses around the final cos argument (A-alpha) in the last term in the denominator.  Thanks Niel van der Merwe (2/2014).
  • Corrected error in Chapter 10. Ref. to Eqn. (3-55) should have been to Eqn.(8-49) Thanks Thomas Telsnig (10/2012)

  • Corrected error in Chapter 2. Ref. to Eqn. (3-19) should have been to Eqn.(3-22) Thanks Jeff Chen (10/2012)

  • Corrected error in Figure 8.3. Thanks Mohamed Elagamawi and Prof. Henry Louie (4/12)

  • Corrected typo, Chapter 10.1.2 - 98oC - Thanks Patrick Griffin (5/11)

  • Added Chapter 14 Modeling System Performance (5/08)

  • Corrected error in Equation 4.13. Thanks Scott McCreary (4/08)

  • Corrected error in Equation 9.3 / S-B constant - Thanks Patrick Griffin (11/07)

  • Added Chapter 15 System Design (5/07)

  • Added Chapter 16 System Design Examples (5/07)

  • Added Solar Time Calculator (5/07)

  • Corrected error in Equation 10.7.   Thanks Patrick Vielle, Switzerland (4/07)

  • Added Solar Angle Calculator (2/07)

  • Added Appendix G (4/06)

  • Completed Chapter 11 Energy Storage (5/05)

  • Completed Chapter 12 Power Cycles for Electricity Generation (10/04)

  • Added Chapter 9 Concentrating Collectors and Chapter 10 Central Receiver Systems (10/04) and corrected minor errors in Ch. 3 examples, in section 3.2 (thanks Sam Sankaran).

  • Corrected error in Equation 3.10 (6/04) - Thanks Boudewijn van Leeuwen, The Netherlands

  • Added Chapter 8 Concentrating Optics (10/03)

  • We just added Chapter 6 describing flat-plate collectors (11/02)

  • We have added Chapter 5 describing the performance and performance models of solar thermal and photovoltaic collectors (10/02).

  • We have now added Chapters 3 and 4 covering all of the sun-collector angles necessary for solar calculations (8/02).

  • Added Chapter 2 - The Sun's Energy  This is an entirely updated version of Chapter 4 from Solar Energy Fundamentals and Design.

  • Started (with Chapter 2 right now) incorporating MathType's new web-based equation technology which is browser independent.  It has the special features that you can double-click on an equation and it will increase in size, making the super and subscripts more legible.  Also equation references in the text are hyperlinked to the equation and show in blue.