A computationally simple algorithm is presented for evaluating the hourly utilizability function, φ, defined as the fraction of the long-term, monthly-average, hourly solar radiation incident on a surface which exceeds a specified threshold intensity. The algorithm was developed by correlating values of φ obtained by numerical integration of hourly radiation for three locations. The algorithm is shown to compare well both with a more complex analytical expression for φ developed recently and with results obtained numerically using many years of hourly horizontal radiation measurements in nine U.S. locations. In addition, the algorithm is shown to be applicable for surfaces of any orientation.

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