Validating Surface Solar Flux Estimates from Satellite-based Models for Renewable Energy Applications

Tom Stoffel National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Mary Anderberg National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Category: Radiation

Working Group: Cloud-Aerosol-Precipitation Interaction

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SIRS station locations relative to the NASA SEE satellite 1 deg x 1 deg grid (SUNY model based on 0.1 deg x 0.1 deg grid resulting in 100 cells for each NASA SEE data value).

Measurements of downwelling shortwave solar irradiance collected by the Solar Infrared Station (SIRS) instruments at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site have been used to compare two satellite-based models for estimating solar radiation resources for renewable energy applications. These “ground-truth” measurements are represented by the Best Estimate Flux Value-Added Product (BEFlux) and SIRS data from up to 18 extended facilities active during the period July 1998 through June 2005. Model performance evaluations are based on comparisons of Monthly Averaged Daily Total (MADT) values of global horizontal solar irradiance. The SIRS station network and the Central Facility offer excellent geospatial representation of the modeled data available from NASA’s Surface meteorology and Solar Energy (SSE) with 1 deg x 1 deg resolution and the modeled data produced with the State University of New York (SUNY) with 0.1 deg x 0.1 deg resolution (see figure). The SUNY model is the basis for the solar resource data available from the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB). NASA SSE data are available on a global scale. Preliminary analyses of the MADT for the entire period of record indicate model bias errors of -15% (SSE) and -2% (SUNY). The results of our comparison will be used to improve the data quality assessment of two models important for estimating renewable energy resources for national and global applications.

This poster will be displayed at ASR Science Team Meeting.