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Validation of Photovoltaic Spectral Effects Derived From Satellite-Based Solar Irradiance Products
  • Sophie Pelland ,
  • Christian A. Gueymard
Sophie Pelland

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Christian A. Gueymard
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The Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM-SAF) Spectral Resolved Irradiance (SRI) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory National Solar Radiation Database Spectral on Demand (NSRDB-S) satellite-based spectral irradiance products are tested here against benchmark data and models at seven ground stations: one in Spain for CM-SAF SRI and six in North America for NSRDB-S. Benchmarks include WISER spectroradiometers, spectra modeled from SolarSIM-G measurements and the SMARTS radiative code with two alternate input sources: AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) and the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) reanalysis. The satellite products are tested in terms of their ability to estimate photovoltaic (PV) spectral effects for six PV module technologies. The spectra are also compared directly under clear-sky conditions. Both CM-SAF SRI and NSRDB-S outperform the simple benchmark of neglecting spectral effects in terms of predicting instantaneous spectral mismatch factors, but only CM-SAF SRI generally does better at predicting long-term spectral derate factors. The clear-sky results reveal systematic differences between NSRDB-S and benchmark spectra, likely due to the NSRDB-S treatment of aerosols. Meanwhile, the mean SMARTS spectra with AERONET and MERRA-2 inputs are in good agreement, showing promise for the use of MERRA-2 as input to clear-sky models.
Nov 2022Published in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics volume 12 issue 6 on pages 1361-1368. 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2022.3216501