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Climate 2018, 6(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6030069

Quality Control of Global Horizontal Irradiance Estimates through BSRN, TOACs and Air Temperature/Sunshine Duration Test Procedures

1,2,†,* , 1,3,†
and
1,†
1
Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, School of Geography, Geology and Environment, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2
Department of Geography, College of Humanities, University of Sulaimani, Iraq-Kurdistan Region Sulaimani-Kirkuk Road 46001, Iraq
3
NERC National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), University of Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
The name of the quality procedure is based on rates of Top of Atmosphere irradiance (TOA) and Clear sky (Cs) on a horizontal plane, TOACs is used as a name of a test in this study.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract

Solar Radiation (SR) data are required for many disciplines and applications. The ground measurement of SR data is hampered by technical and operational errors. Therefore, several approaches have been developed to detect these errors. This study aimed to compare two quality tests of hourly Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) estimates through the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Top of Atmosphere irradiance and Clear sky (TOACs) on a horizontal plane. Each of these tests has a threshold to pass data, which leads to different results. A newly developed quality test method is presented that uses Sunshine Duration (SD) and Air Temperature (AT) to check hourly GHI and is applied to data from 20 meteorological stations in northeast Iraq. The new method was validated using independent high quality data from six stations in various regions with the same climate regime. The method consists of several tests that compare ground data with upper and lower limits of radiation at the top of the atmosphere, using a clear sky radiation model and the relation between SD and AT with SR to determine data values of dubious quality. The rate of error flags generally range from 1% to 27%. The findings show that SD and AT can be used to support other quality tests and to detect nearly 2% additional dubious data values compared to BSRN and TOACs tests. The SD test tends to work like a consistency check but AT does not work like that according to the validation result. However, AT can be used to test the plausibility of data. The argument for using AT in this study may be impractical for other climate conditions. The results suggest that a combination of tests can lead to a better quality of ground data, especially when the components of SR are unviable. Using climate variables for further checks is another possibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: quality control; global horizontal irradiation; sunshine duration; air temperature quality control; global horizontal irradiation; sunshine duration; air temperature
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Ameen, B.; Balzter, H.; Jarvis, C. Quality Control of Global Horizontal Irradiance Estimates through BSRN, TOACs and Air Temperature/Sunshine Duration Test Procedures. Climate 2018, 6, 69.

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