Appendix D: Solar Position Algorithms

Solar position calculations are used for a wide variety of tasks from setting up solar monitoring stations to positioning photovoltaic panels to maximize electricity output. Solar position is used in the analysis of irradiance data and is essential for modeling solar irradiance for arbitrarily tilted surfaces. Many algorithms are available that estimate the solar position to varying degrees of accuracy; these solar algorithms and their accuracy are discussed in this appendix.

Every year the Astronomical Almanac (2011) publishes next year’s sun position with accuracies approaching 0.1 seconds of arc. To achieve these accuracies, the Nautical Almanac Office of the United States Naval Observatory and Her Majesty’s ...

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