Solar Power » Radiation

Extraterrestrial Irradiation: The Solar Constant

The intensity of solar irradiation directly outside the earth’s atmosphere on a horizontal surface is almost constant at around 1,360 W/m2., the so-called “Solar Constant”.

Solar Constant

This entry point into the atmosphere is called “Air Mass – 0” or “AM-0”, where “0” points out that there is no air mass.

There is a variation of solar intensity of about 1%, but this is a slow cycle. It is so small that it is negligible for the purpose of solar power.


ReferencesInformation on solar radiation and spectra at Newport

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