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Development of a method for generating operational solar radiation maps from satellite data for tropical environment


Janjai, S and Laksanaboonsong, J and Nunez, M and Thongsathitya, A, Development of a method for generating operational solar radiation maps from satellite data for tropical environment, Solar Energy, 78, (6) pp. 739-751. ISSN 0038-092X (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.solener.2004.09.009


Despite a considerable number of publications which use satellite data to map solar radiation, relatively few studies have been undertaken in a tropical environment. In this study, we have developed a method to produce operational solar radiation maps from satellite data for this environment. The method is based on a physical model which relates the satellite-derived earth-atmospheric reflectivity from visible channel of GMS-4 and GMS-5 to the transmissivity of the atmosphere. Cloud reflectivity was determined from satellite data, while radiation absorbed by water vapour, ozone and aerosols and radiation scattered by aerosols were determined from ground-based meteorological data. Techniques for determining the radiation depleted by these atmospheric constituents over a whole country were also presented. Satellite data of a six-year period (1993-1998) with approximately ten thousand satellite images were used to construct the maps. When tested against an independent data set, monthly average of daily global irradiation calculated from this method agree with that obtained from the measurements with the relative root mean square difference of 6.8% with respect to the mean values. Solar radiation is presented as twelve maps showing the monthly average of global irradiation and one map showing the yearly average of global irradiation. Radiation patterns from the maps show a strong influence of the tropical monsoons. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights resersved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Atmospheric sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric processes and dynamics
UTAS Author:Nunez, M (Dr Manuel Nunez)
ID Code:38376
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:77
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2006-04-22

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