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Absorbed Solar Radiation

Solar radiation absorbed by various materials.

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Absorbed Solar Radiation by Surface Color

Solar energy absorbed depends on surface color:

Absorbed Solar Radiation vs. Surface Color
Surface ColorAbsorb Factor
Fraction of Incident Radiation Absorbed
(approximated)
White smooth surfaces 0.25 - 0.40
Grey to dark grey 0.40 - 0.50
Green, red and brown 0.50 - 0.70
Dark brown to blue 0.70 - 0.80
Dark blue to black 0.80 - 0.90

Absorbed Solar Radiation by Material

Absorbed Solar Radiation vs. Surface Material
SubstanceAbsorb Factor  
Fraction of Incident Radiation Absorbed
Aluminum, polished 0.30
Aluminum paint 0.20
Aluminum, anodized 0.15
Brick, glazed 0.35
Brick, common light red 0.55
Brick, common red 0.68
Brick, wire cut red 0.52
Brick, blue 0.89
Cork 0.45
Limestone, light 0.35
Limestone, dark 0.50
Linoleum, red-brown 0.84
Sandstone, light grey 0.62
Sandstone, red 0.73
Marble, white 0.44
Soft rubber, gray 0.65
Marble, dark 0.66
Granite, reddish 0.55
Magnesium oxide, evaporated 0.08
Graphite 0.84
Porcelain 0.50
Steel, vitreous enameled green 0.76
Steel, vitreous enameled dark red 0.81
Steel, vitreous enameled blue 0.80
Iron, galvanized new 0.64
Iron, galvanized dirty 0.92
Iron, galvanized white washed 0.22
Concrete 0.60
Copper, polished 0.18
Copper, tarnished 0.64
Lead, old 0.79
Asbestos cement, roof tiles old 0.83
Asbestos cement, roof tiles red 0.69
Asbestos slate 0.81
Asphalt roofing, new 0.91
Asphalt roofing, old 0.82
Bitumen-covered roofing sheet, brown 0.87
Slate, blue grey 0.87
Tile, clay red 0.64
Tile, concrete uncolored 0.65
Tile, concrete black 0.91
Vitreous enamel, white 0.39
White Dutch tile 0.18
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