Solar Energy Forecasting and Resource Assessment

1st Edition

Authors: Jan Kleissl
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123971777
eBook ISBN: 9780123977724
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 16th July 2013
Page Count: 462
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Solar Energy Forecasting and Resource Assessment is a vital text for solar energy professionals, addressing a critical gap in the core literature of the field.  As major barriers to solar energy implementation, such as materials cost and low conversion efficiency, continue to fall, issues of intermittency and reliability have come to the fore. Scrutiny from solar project developers and their financiers on the accuracy of long-term resource projections and grid operators’ concerns about variable short-term power generation have made the field of solar forecasting and resource assessment pivotally important. This volume provides an authoritative voice on the topic, incorporating contributions from an internationally recognized group of top authors from both industry and academia, focused on providing information from underlying scientific fundamentals to practical applications and emphasizing the latest technological developments driving this discipline forward.

Key Features

  • The only reference dedicated to forecasting and assessing solar resources enables a complete understanding of the state of the art from the world’s most renowned experts.
  • Demonstrates how to derive reliable data on solar resource availability and variability at specific locations to support accurate prediction of solar plant performance and attendant financial analysis.
  • Provides cutting-edge information on recent advances in solar forecasting through monitoring, satellite and ground remote sensing, and numerical weather prediction.


Scientists and engineers working within the power utility, renewable energy industry, or other related energy fields, as well as within the areas of atmospheric science and meteorology.  Solar energy professionals particularly, including research scientists, project developers, system operators, planners and engineers.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Terms and Definitions

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Overview of Solar-Power Conversion Technologies

1.3 Solar Power Versus Solar Irradiance

1.4 Direct, Diffuse, and Global Solar Radiation and Instrumentation

1.5 Atmospheric Properties Affecting Solar Irradiance


Chapter 2. Semi-Empirical Satellite Models

2.1 Satellites and Spectral Bands

2.2 Basic Principles

2.3 Clear-Sky Background

2.4 Cloud Attenuation: Cloud Index

2.5 Computing Global Irradiance

2.6 Computing Direct Normal Irradiance

2.7 Downscaling Solar Irradiance with High-Resolution Terrain Information

2.8 Sources of Uncertainty

2.9 Validation and Accuracy

2.10 Calibrating Satellite Bias using Ground Measurements

2.11 Future Advancements


Chapter 3. Physically Based Satellite Methods

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Satellite Observing Systems

3.3 Cloud and Aerosol Detection and Property Characterization

3.4 Relating Properties to Surface-Irradiance Parameters

3.5 Example Processing and Datasets

3.6 Future Satellite Capabilities

3.7 Critical Needs for Research

3.8 Conclusions


Chapter 4. Evaluation of Resource Risk in Solar-Project Financing

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Perspectives on Resource Risk in Project Financing

4.3 Data Sources, Quality, and Uncertainty

4.4 Commercial Implications of Resource Variability

4.5 Techniques for Quantifying and Managing Resource Risk

4.6 Conclusions


Chapter 5. Bankable Solar-Radiation Datasets

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Solar-Radiation Datasets: Characteristics, Strengths, and Weaknesses

5.3 Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) Data Files

5.4 Satellite-Derived Solar-Ra


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About the Author

Jan Kleissl

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; Co-Director, Center for Energy Research, UC San Diego, USA