Expert quality control of solar radiation ground data sets

Anne Forstinger, Stefan Wilbert, Adam R. Jensen, Birk Kraas, Carlos Fernández Peruchena, Chris A. Gueymard, Dario Ronzio, Dazhi Yang, Elena Collino, Jesús Polo Martinez, Jose A. Ruiz-Arias, Natalie Hanrieder, Philippe Blanc, Yves Marie Saint-Drenan

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Ground-based radiation measurements are required for all large solar projects and for evaluating the accuracy of solar radiation models and datasets. Ground data almost always contain low-quality periods caused by instrumental issues, logging errors, or maintenance deficiencies. Therefore, quality control (QC) is needed to detect and eventually flag or exclude such suspicious or erroneous data before any subsequent analysis. The few existing automatic QC methods are not perfect, thus expert visual inspection of the data is still required. In this work, we present a harmonized QC procedure, which is a combination of various available methods, including some that include an expert visual inspection. In the framework of IEA PVPS Task 16, these tests are applied to 161 world stations that are equipped with various radiometer models, and are candidates for an ongoing benchmark of irradiance datasets derived from satellite or weather models. Because the implementation of these methods by experts, and their subsequent decisions, might lead to different QC results, the independently obtained results from nine evaluators are compared for two test sites. The QC results are found similar and more stringent than purely automated tests, even though some deviations exist due to differences in manual flagging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SWC 2021: ISES Solar World Congress
PublisherInternational Solar Energy Society
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventSWC 2021: ISES Solar World Congress - Virtual conference
Duration: 25 Oct 202129 Oct 2021


ConferenceSWC 2021: ISES Solar World Congress
LocationVirtual conference


  • Solar irradiance
  • Solar resource
  • Quality control
  • Quality inspection
  • Visual inspection


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