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Article

Validating Hourly Satellite Based and Reanalysis Based Global Horizontal Irradiance Datasets over South Africa

1
Research & Development Division, South African Weather Service, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Department of Physics, University of South Africa, UNISA Preller Street, Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3
Move Beyond Consulting (Pty) Ltd., Pretoria 0081, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Naser El-Sheimy
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 1 November 2021 / Accepted: 3 November 2021 / Published: 5 November 2021
This study validates the hourly satellite based and reanalysis based global horizontal irradiance (GHI) for sites in South Africa. Hourly GHI satellite based namely: SOLCAST, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), and Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CMSAF SARAH) and two reanalysis based, namely, fifth generation European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts atmospheric reanalysis (ERA5) and Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA2) were assessed by comparing in situ measured data from 13 South African Weather Service radiometric stations, located in the country’s six macro climatological regions, for the period 2013–2019. The in situ data were first quality controlled using the Baseline Surface Radiation Network methodology. Data visualization and statistical metrics relative mean bias error (rMBE), relative root mean square error (rRMSE), relative mean absolute error (rMAE), and the coefficient of determination (R2) were used to evaluate the performance of the datasets. There was very good correlation against in situ GHI for the satellite based GHI, all with R2 above 0.95. The R2 correlations for the reanalysis based GHI were less than 0.95 (0.931 for ERA5 and 0.888 for MERRA2). The satellite and reanalysis based GHI showed a positive rMBE (SOLCAST 0.81%, CAMS 2.14%, CMSAF 2.13%, ERA5 1.7%, and MERRA2 11%), suggesting consistent overestimation over the country. SOLCAST satellite based GHI showed the best rRMSE (14%) and rMAE (9%) combinations. MERRA2 reanalysis based GHI showed the weakest rRMSE (37%) and rMAE (22%) combinations. SOLCAST satellite based GHI showed the best overall performance. When considering only the freely available datasets, CAMS and CMSAF performed better with the same overall rMBE (2%), however, CAMS showed slightly better rRMSE (16%), rMAE (10%), and R2 (0.98) combinations than CMSAF rRMSE (17%), rMAE (11%), and R2 (0.97). CAMS and CMSAF are viable freely available data sources for South African locations. View Full-Text
Keywords: satellite; reanalysis; global horizontal irradiance; SOLCAST; Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS); Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CMSAF); fifth generation European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts atmospheric reanalysis (ERA5); Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA2) satellite; reanalysis; global horizontal irradiance; SOLCAST; Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS); Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CMSAF); fifth generation European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts atmospheric reanalysis (ERA5); Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA2)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mabasa, B.; Lysko, M.D.; Moloi, S.J. Validating Hourly Satellite Based and Reanalysis Based Global Horizontal Irradiance Datasets over South Africa. Geomatics 2021, 1, 429-449. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geomatics1040025

AMA Style

Mabasa B, Lysko MD, Moloi SJ. Validating Hourly Satellite Based and Reanalysis Based Global Horizontal Irradiance Datasets over South Africa. Geomatics. 2021; 1(4):429-449. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geomatics1040025

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mabasa, Brighton, Meena D. Lysko, and Sabata J. Moloi. 2021. "Validating Hourly Satellite Based and Reanalysis Based Global Horizontal Irradiance Datasets over South Africa" Geomatics 1, no. 4: 429-449. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geomatics1040025

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