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Diffuse sky radiation

Diffuse sky radiation is solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface after having been scattered from the direct solar beam by molecules or particulates in the atmosphere. Also called sky radiation, diffuse skylight, or just skylight, it is the reason for the color changes of the sky. Of the total light removed from the direct solar beam by scattering in the atmosphere (approximately 25% of the incident radiation when and where the Sun is high in the sky, depending on the amount of dust, haze, and other particulates in the atmosphere), about two-thirds ultimately reaches the earth as diffuse sky radiation. When the Sun is at the zenith in a cloudless sky, with 1361 W/m2 above the atmosphere, direct sunlight is about 1050 W/m2, and total insolation about 1120 W/m2. This implies that under these conditions the diffuse radiation is only about 70 W/m2 out of the original 1361 W/m2.

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