Solar Availability for Winter Space Heating: An Analysis of SOLMET Data, 1953 to 1975

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Science  09 Nov 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4419, pp. 679-681
DOI: 10.1126/science.206.4419.679


Solar availability for space heating on coldest-weather days has been determined from an analysis of SOLMET data tapes. The tapes contain hourly readings of insolation and ambient temperature over the period from 1953 through 1975. Scatter diagrams of insolation versus heating degree-days, compiled on a daily basis, indicate a wide variation in the insolation level, even during coldest-weather periods. For all but one of the eight sites studied, the peak-day backup energy requirement of the solar system was in excess of 85 percent of the peak-day energy requirement of the conventional (nonsolar) heating system.