Generalized nighttime radiative deficits

John C. Howell*, Tomer Yizhaq, Nadav Drechsler, Yuval Zamir, Daniel Beysens, Joseph A. Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We derive a general, tilt-dependent, nighttime, radiative deficit model with an eye towards improved dew collection. The model incorporates atmospheric/environmental incoming radiation, a linear precipitable water vapor transmittance function dependent on local meteo data and the influence of near-horizon obstacles. A brief discussion of cloud cover is given. The model is then used more specifically to predict radiative deficits for an ideal blackbody emitter in an environment with an isotropic temperature. Knowing the tilt angle, near-horizon obstacles and local meteo-data, it is then possible to estimate the radiative deficit of a given emitter. We consider errors resulting from the assumption that the ground and obstacles are at the same temperature as the air. We also analyze the errors arising from the linear precipitable water vapor transmittance function by comparing the results against high-resolution, full-spectrum Modtran® data Modtran, 2021. We show that for typical tilt angles, the isotropic temperature model is a reasonable approximation as long as the above-horizon environmental heating is small. We believe these results will be broadly valuable for the field of radiative cooling where a general radiative treatment has yet to be made and in particular the field of dew water harvesting.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number126971
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Dew formation
  • Dew radiative model
  • Radiative cooling


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