Evaluation of atmosphere clearness and cloudiness parameters in the southern regions of Ukraine using statistical analysis

Keywords: clearness index, cloudiness index, sky clarity, solar energy, solar energy resource


Introduction. This paper deals with the specific aspects of insolation of the terrestrial surface in the southern regions of Ukraine, namely the clearness index and diffuse fraction of the atmosphere. The study was based on satellite data of the average daily insolation and total cloudiness in the nodes of the two-degree grid for the domain with coordinates 48°-45° N and 29°-39° E for the period of 1981-2020.

The purpose of article. The purpose was to develop statistic models of horizontal surface insolation for various locations of study domain. Main focus was put on special characteristics in conditions of fixed cloudiness. Satellite data for the summer season had been used to evaluate the maximum solar energy potential of Ukraine.

Methods. Application statistical analysis and means of cartographic data layout were used in the paper.

Results. It was found that with the highest (more than 50%) frequency the total cloud cover can be characterized by the atmosphere clarity  corresponding to a clear sky condition. The significance of irradiation of the terrestrial surface with diffuse solar radiation has been observed, with the share of such radiation in the global irradiation (diffuse ratio) being closely inversely related to the clearness index (correlation about -0.97). In turn, both diffuse ratio and clearness index are statistically dependent on the sky clarity, that allowed deriving analytical functions - diffuse ratio and clearness index - of the sky clarity, which appeared to be S- and Z-shaped curves, respectively. Dispersion of the clearness index ( ) and the diffuse fraction ( ) values and the strength of their statistical relationship significantly depend on the sky clarity. The empirical distribution of the two-dimensional random variable ( ; ) well meets the Gaussian distribution, and the obtained dispersion ellipses allowed calculating the confidence intervals of the two-dimensional random variable (clearness index: diffuse fraction) for a given confidence level. The spatial distribution of the clearness index and diffuse fraction of the atmosphere in the southern regions of Ukraine revealed a significant dependence of these indices on the latitude and the type of underlying surface. At the end of the summer a seasonal effect has been observed in the spatial distribution of the clearness index and diffuse fraction, which can be explained by the specific seasonal features of atmospheric circulation, caused by the spreading out of the eastern ridge of the Azores anticyclone and the general situation with blocking developments in the Atlantic-European sector of the Northern Hemisphere.

The scientific novelty. Correlation and regression models of special insolation characteristics in conditions of various cloudiness that are represented in this paper are new to Ukraine. Analysis of two-dimensional random value spread (clearness index: cloudiness index) allowed to assess probabilities of integral solar radiation flows. The obtained analytical membership functions for monthly average values of clearness and cloudiness indices depending on the level of sky clarity proved to be applicable for determining respective indices for daily time scale.

Practical significance. The obtained results are important for comprehensive assessment of the solar / photovoltaic resources of southern regions of Ukraine. Specifically, analytical dependences have practical values for the purpose of forecasting direct and diffuse solar radiation in various time scales based on publically available global records of solar radiation.


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Author Biographies

Vasyl Zatula, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

PhD (Geography), Associate Professor

Yaroslav Kyhtenko, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Master's student

Rostyslav Oliinyk, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor

Sergiy Snizhko, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

DSc (Geography), Professor


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How to Cite
Zatula, V., Kyhtenko, Y., Oliinyk, R., & Snizhko, S. (2021). Evaluation of atmosphere clearness and cloudiness parameters in the southern regions of Ukraine using statistical analysis. Visnyk of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Series "Geology. Geography. Ecology", (55), 159-173. https://doi.org/10.26565/2410-7360-2021-55-12