Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 27, 2019
ASTM E1980-11(2019)

Standard Practice for Calculating Solar Reflectance Index of Horizontal and Low-Sloped Opaque Surfaces

Significance and Use

5.1 Solar reflectance and thermal emittance are important factors affecting surface and near-surface ambient air temperature. Surfaces with low solar reflectance, absorb a high fraction of the incoming solar energy. A fraction of this absorbed energy is conducted into ground and buildings, a fraction is convected to air (leading to higher air temperatures), and a fraction is radiated to the sky. For equivalent conditions, the lower the emissivity of a surface the higher its steady-state temperature. Surfaces with low emissivity cannot effectively radiate to the sky and, therefore, get hot. Determination of solar reflectance and thermal emittance, and subsequent calculation of the relative temperature of the surfaces with respect to black and white reference temperature (defined as Solar Reflectance Index, SRI), may help designers and consumers to choose the proper materials to make their buildings and communities energy efficient. The method described here gives the SRI of surfaces based on measured solar reflectances and thermal emissivities of the surfaces.


1.1 This practice covers the calculation of the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of horizontal and low-sloped opaque surfaces at standard conditions. The method is intended to calculate SRI for surfaces with emissivity greater than 0.1.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.04
Developed by Subcommittee: D08.18
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/E1980-11R19
ICS Code: 17.180.20