Scientific Paper: How accurate is your solar irradiation data?

Irradiation data derived from satellite images are increasingly used as input for long-term yield assessment and as reference yield for monitoring and business reporting. The reference yield is usually used as a basis for verifying the fulfilment of contractual key performance indicators (KPIs), for example: performance ratio (PR) or energy-weighted availability. The under- or overachievement of these KPIs often also triggers penalties or bonuses. Therefore, before relying on a reference yield that is derived from satellite data, asset managers and O&M contractors expect that the fidelity of these data is confirmed independently and with scientific rigour.

3E developed a white paper focused on evaluating solar irradiation data from different satellite-based irradiance data services. For seven satellite irradiance models, 3E evaluated global horizontal irradiation by comparison with data from meteorological stations for the years 2011 to 2015. The reference data covers measurements from over 200 stations in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

3E offers satellite-based radiation data which is derived through the MSG-CPP model. As the evaluation shows, this model is among the best in class.

The paper was presented at this year’s EU PVSEC conference, the European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Munich, Germany.