August 2016 Update: You can learn how to compute the Engerer2 model in my Rpackage here!
This blog post explores the success of the Engerer 2 model as laid out in: Engerer, Nicholas A. Minute resolution estimates of the diffuse fraction of global irradiance for southeastern Australia. Solar Energy. 116, June 2015, pp. 215-237.
One of the key outcomes from my PhD thesis was the validation of two different types of radiation models: clear sky and separation, against one minute resolution data. For the clear sky validation, I found suitable performance from several models for use in Australia, but the available separation models, however, did not have acceptable performance.
The main issue with the available separation models (models that take a global radiation measurement from a pyranometer and separate it into its direct and diffuse components), is that they are regression based, with the original data being hourly averages of radiation. At minute-resolution timescales, the relationship with global and diffuse/direct radiation is very different. For one, there are very rapid fluctuations in the incoming radiation budget across these timescales. Another big difference is the influence of cloud enhancement which is where radiation arriving at the surface exceeds the clear sky value because of non-linear interactions with some types of cloud decks.
Making big changes, in the name of science
Thus, when I formulated my model, I knew that I had to make some significant advancements upon the existing methods/literature. The principal improvements made with this model are four-fold:
- Inclusion of a physical model (REST2 clear sky model), making the model 'quasi-physical', much like the DISC model written by Eugene Maxwell (Maxwell 1987)
- The model is the only one of its class (as of the time of publication) that has been fit to minute resolution data (most other models have been designed for hourly data)
- There are two new variables, which have not previously been utilised in a separation model. These are delta_Ktc (deviation of observed clearness index from clear sky value of clearness index)
- and K_de (the portion of the diffuse fraction that is attributable to cloud enhancement events)
independent assessment of the model: it works very, very well
The result is an impressive performance of the model against the current suite representing the state-of-the-art. In a recent study, Gueymard and Ruiz-Arias 2015, radiation data from 54 sites around the globe were used to validate 140 separation models. In this study, the Engerer2 model was the best! Here it is, as described in the text:
And well... was that ever quite the compliment (especially coming from a scientist whom I've looked up to for so long)! I am very pleased with this result, because now, my Engerer2 model is the ‘'quasi-universal' 1-min separation model" and has been accepted to be of global standard. That makes my inner nerd quite happy, I'll admit. "Chuffed" as my Aussie friends would say :-). And now I've have been given a reason to write a long overdue blog post about this research work. As well as deliver a little surprise...
NOw, the Engerer2 model is in demand
As a result of this excellent outcome, I have several researchers in the community who would like to use my model, and I am quite happy to oblige. So with this post, I am also announcing that a beta version of my Rpackage "anusolar" is now available, on request. You can read more about this software at nickengerer.org/rpackage and where you can find out how to use the Engerer 2 separation model! This package will allow you to do more than that, including PV simulation, KPV calculation and creating output from clear-sky radiation models. So go check it out!