Quality control of solar radiation data within the South African Weather Service solar radiometric network





Quality control, BSRN, solar radiation, satellite-retrieve irradiance, ground stations


This study reports on the performance results of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) quality control procedures applied to the solar radiation data, from September 2013 to December 2017, within the South African Weather Service radiometric network. The overall percentage performance of the SAWS solar radiation network based on BSRN quality control methodology was 97.79%, 93.64%, 91.60% and 92.23% for long wave downward irradiance (LWD), global horizontal irradiance (GHI), diffuse horizontal irradiance (DHI) and direct normal irradiance (DNI), respectively, with operational problems largely dominating the percentage of bad data. The overall average performance of the surface solar radiation dataset – Heliosat data records for the GHI estimation for all stations showed a mean bias deviation of 8.28 Wm-2, a mean absolute deviation of 9.06 Wm-2 and the root mean square deviation of 11.02 Wm-2. The correlation, quantified by the square of correlation coefficient (R2), between ground-based and Heliosat-derived GHI time series was ~0.98. The established network has the potential to provide high quality minute solar radiation data sets (GHI, DHI, DNI and LWD) and auxiliary hourly meteorological parameters vital for scientific and practical applications in renewable energy technologies.


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Author Biography

Lucky Ntsangwane, South African Weather Service

South African Weather Service; Senior Manager: Research and Development


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Successful solar energy projects begin with bankable solar radiation data




How to Cite

Ntsangwane, L., Mabasa, B. ., Sivakumar , V., Zwane , N. ., Ncongwane, K. . ., & Botai , J. . (2019). Quality control of solar radiation data within the South African Weather Service solar radiometric network. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 30(4), 51–63. https://doi.org/10.17159/2413-3051/2019/v30i4a5586