Global Solar Irradiance Data via API

Data are produced in the following way. Firstly, satellite imagery is taken from the 3rd generation weather satellites (5x in total globally, including the Himawari 8 satellite over Australia). The images have a scan duration of 10-15 mins and are provided for 16 bands, each with a different scanning wavelength of outgoing terrestrial radiation. The model applied utilises the visible (band 3) and infrared (band 13) images. The images extracted, and re-project spatially, including for parallax errors. The radiation modelling begins with the visible and IR images from the satellites with pixel size resolution of 1-2 km^2. Solar irradiance is derived following the general principles of the Heliosat-2 methodology. Clouds are decomposed into lower, middle and upper troposphere layers as separated by cloud top temperatures that are inferred through utilisation of the IR image identified cloud-top height and numerical weather model isobaric temperatures obtained from the Global Forecast System (GFS) deterministic model. Total cloudiness is derived through aggregation of the three cloud layers. Total cloud opacity (represented as an index between 0 and 1) is then derived using albedo differences between the lowest visible return value of albedo recorded for each pixel and a continuous running 50 day sample that is updated daily. Derived cloud opacity is then applied as a linear reduction to the Esra clear sky radiation model to produce an estimate of GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance) at each pixel. The selection of the Esra model was based upon validation against a selection of clear sky radiation models in Australia [20]. Estimates of GHI are then decomposed into direct normal irradiance (DNI) and diffuse horizontal irradiance (DIF) through the Engerer2 separation model. Data are updated live on an AWS based platform and can be extracted via a free API account, available at the project webpage (http://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/).
Type
Collection
Title
Global Solar Irradiance Data via API
Brief Title
Global Solar Irradiance Data
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Fenner School of Environment & Society
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c073e713e5dd
Website Address
http://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Significance Statement
Solar irradiance (global solar radiation) data over all major continents, real-time and historical.
Brief Description
Produced by commercial entity Solcast, through support from ANU technologies built by Dr. Nick Engerer's research group at the Fenner School of Environment and Society via Australian Renewable Energy Agency Funding. Satellite data, along with information from weather models, is used to create an estimate of available solar radiation at the Earth's surface.
Full Description
Data are produced in the following way. Firstly, satellite imagery is taken from the 3rd generation weather satellites (5x in total globally, including the Himawari 8 satellite over Australia). The images have a scan duration of 10-15 mins and are provided for 16 bands, each with a different scanning wavelength of outgoing terrestrial radiation. The model applied utilises the visible (band 3) and infrared (band 13) images. The images extracted, and re-project spatially, including for parallax errors. The radiation modelling begins with the visible and IR images from the satellites with pixel size resolution of 1-2 km^2. Solar irradiance is derived following the general principles of the Heliosat-2 methodology. Clouds are decomposed into lower, middle and upper troposphere layers as separated by cloud top temperatures that are inferred through utilisation of the IR image identified cloud-top height and numerical weather model isobaric temperatures obtained from the Global Forecast System (GFS) deterministic model. Total cloudiness is derived through aggregation of the three cloud layers. Total cloud opacity (represented as an index between 0 and 1) is then derived using albedo differences between the lowest visible return value of albedo recorded for each pixel and a continuous running 50 day sample that is updated daily. Derived cloud opacity is then applied as a linear reduction to the Esra clear sky radiation model to produce an estimate of GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance) at each pixel. The selection of the Esra model was based upon validation against a selection of clear sky radiation models in Australia [20]. Estimates of GHI are then decomposed into direct normal irradiance (DNI) and diffuse horizontal irradiance (DIF) through the Engerer2 separation model. Data are updated live on an AWS based platform and can be extracted via a free API account, available at the project webpage (http://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/).
Contact Email
nicholas.engerer@anu.edu.au
Contact Address
Fenner School of Environment and Society College of Science Frank Fenner Building #141 The Australian National University Acton ACT 2601
Contact Phone Number
+61 2 6125 1658
Principal Investigator
Dr Nick Engerer
Supervisors
Dr Nick Engerer
Fields of Research
090608 - Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Solar Cells)
Socio-Economic Objective
9602 - Atmosphere and Weather
Keywords
solar radiation; solar irradiance; atmospheric radiation; solar energy; solar forecasting
Type of Research Activity
Applied Research
Date Coverage
2010-01-01
2018-12-31
Geospatial Location
text
All Major Continents
Date of data creation
2016-06-01
Year of data publication
2018
Creator(s) for Citation
Nicholas
Engerer
Publisher for Citation
The Australian National University Data Commons
Related Websites
http://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/
Solcast API Data Access
Access Rights Type
Conditional
Rights held in and over the data
https://articles.solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/free-access-to-solar-irradiance-data-for-non-commercial-research-use
Licence Type
CC-BY-NC-ND - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDervis (Version 3.0)
Licence
https://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/api/terms-and-conditions/
Data Location
http://solcast.com.au/solar-data-api/
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Extent or Quantity
1
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
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