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What is Direct Normal Irradiance?

Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) is the amount of solar radiation received per unit area by a surface that is always held perpendicular (or normal) to the rays that come in a straight line from the direction of the sun at its current position in the sky. Typically, you can maximize the amount of irradiance annually received by a surface by keeping it normal to incoming radiation. This quantity is of particular interest to concentrating solar thermal installations and installations that track the position of the sun.

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