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.
Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI) is the amount of radiation received per unit area by a surface (not subject to any shade or shadow) that does not arrive on a direct path from the sun, but has been scattered by molecules and particles in the atmosphere and comes equally from all directions
Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) is the total amount of shortwave radiation received from above by a surface horizontal to the ground. This value is of particular interest to photovoltaic installations and includes both Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) and Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI).
Global Horizontal (GHI) = Direct Normal (DNI) X cos(θ) + Diffuse Horizontal (DHI)