Title: Quality control of global solar radiation data with satellite-based products
Citation: SOLAR ENERGY vol. 158 p. 49-62
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC106764
ISSN: 0038-092X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC106764
DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2017.09.032
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Several quality control (QC) procedures are available to detect errors in ground records of solar radiation, mainly range tests, model comparison and graphical analysis, but most of them are ineffective in detecting common problems that generate errors within the physical and statistical acceptance ranges. Herein, we present a novel QC method to detect small deviations from the real irradiance profile. The proposed method compares ground records with estimates from three independent radiation products, mainly satellite-based datasets, and flags periods of consecutive days where the daily deviation of the three products differs from the historical values for that time of the year and region. The confidence intervals of historical values are obtained using robust statistics and errors are subsequently detected with a window function that goes along the whole time series. The method is supplemented with a graphical analysis tool to ease the detection of false alarms. The proposed QC was validated in a dataset of 313 ground stations. Faulty records were detected in 31 stations, even though the dataset had passed the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) range tests. The graphical analysis tool facilitated the identification of the most likely causes of these errors, which were classified into operational errors (snow over the sensor, soiling, shading, time shifts, large errors) and equipment errors (miscalibration and sensor replacements), and it also eased the detection of false alarms (16 stations). These results prove that our QC method can overcome the limitations of existing QC tests by detecting common errors that create small deviations in the records and by providing a graphical analysis tool that facilitates and accelerates the inspection of flagged values.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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