Solar Energy, Vol.196, 468-483, 2020
The sky characterization according to the CIE Standard General Sky: Comparative analysis of three classification methods
Since the publication of the standard sky luminance distributions (SSLD) that was consolidated in the ISO 15469:2004(E)/CIE S 011/E:2003, numerous procedures have emerged for the characterization of the sky condition according to that standard. Precisely, the use of different procedures for the classification of the skies of a certain place according to the ISO/CIE standard can lead to obtain different frequencies of sky types. The existing uncertainties in the characterization of the sky condition according to the CIE Standard General Sky as a consequence of the classification procedure used are analyzed in this study. For this, three different classification procedures are used to characterize the sky radiance and luminance distribution measurements made by means of a sky-scanner in Pamplona (Spain) from 2007 to 2013. That is, (1) a method focused on determining the relative gradation and indicatrix functions, (2) a method based on the comparison of measured and standard luminances normalized against the horizontal diffuse illuminance, and (3) a new high-spatial-resolution approach that compares measured and standard luminances relative to zenith. In general terms, it is concluded that there is some uncertainty in the classification depending on the procedure used to characterize the sky.