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Task 36


Subtask A:
Standard Qualification for Solar Resource Products

Subtask Lead Country: Germany
Subtask Leaders: Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Beyer

The objective of this subtask is to provide the user community with benchmarked, standardized, validated worldwide solar resource data sets. Key subtask activities to meet this objective are:

  1. Select and Qualify Ground Data Sets: this activity will include a survey and documentation of existing data sources, and the production and reporting of validation data
  2. Define Measures of Model Quality for Product Validation: besides defining measures of model quality, this activity includes the establishment and documentation of model intercomparison procedures;
  3. Develop Methodology for Establishing Coherent Benchmarking of Products;
  4. Apply Benchmarking Procedures to Subtask C Products: this activity includes a characterization of model performance as a function of input data sets.

Subtask B:
Common Structure for Archiving and Accessing Data Products

Subtask Lead Countries: France
Subtask Leaders: Prof. Lucien WALD

The objective of this Subtask is to provide a user-oriented information system, such as a distributed data system, for archiving and accessing solar resource data. Key subtask activities to meet this objective are:

  1. Evaluate the Legal Aspects of Accessing Solar Resource Data: this activity focuses on establishing copyright and proprietary rights of data that will be made available through the distributed data system, and to establish appropriate protocols with each participating institution for making the data generally available to the public;
  2. Identify Commonly-Used Software by End Users: this activity examines available or needed software for use by industry and other users to access the information system;
  3. Develop Data Exchange Protocols and Meta-Data: various data exchange protocols will be examined, and one will be selected and documented;
  4. Develop Prototype Data Networking Procedure: a prototype web-based system will be developed whereby a user can request information of a certain type and format, and the information system provides the response or responses that most closely addresses the request.
  5. Identify Resource Providers: a worldwide network of data providers will be established, and the techniques for data exchange among the providers will be investigated.
  6. Test the Prototype by Users: this activity defines the prototype that can be accessed by users, and raises the awareness of the data exchange system to external users;
  7. Define Automatic Access by Commercial Applications: This activity will enable automatic and fast access of resources through the information system by using commercial applications;
  8. Develop a Test Application (Solar Micrositing): a case study in micro siting of a solar energy system will be developed to demonstrate the benefits of the information system.

Subtask C:
Improved Techniques for Solar Resource Characterization and Forecasting

Subtask Lead Countries: Germany
Subtask Leaders: Dr. Detlev Heinemann

The objective of this Subtask is to conduct essential R&D to improve the accuracy and the spatial and temporal coverage of current techniques, including the introduction of solar resource forecasting products. Key activities to meet this objective are:

  1. Improve Satellite Retrieval Methods for Solar Radiation Products: This activity will focus on key model input parameters and methodologies, such as cloud indices, radiative transfer schemes, aerosol data retrievals, and treatment of snow and other surface albedo artifacts. The activity also addresses ways of improving the spatial resolution of satellite-derived broadband solar resource products.
  2. Conduct Climatological Analysis of Solar Resources: In order to ascertain future impacts on system performance due to climate variations, his activity includes the analysis of long-term surface and satellite-derived data sets and climate models; specifically addressing natural long-term fluctuations associated within the ocean-atmosphere system, such as the Southern Oscillation/El Nino.
  3. Evaluate Solar Radiation Forecasting Procedures: This activity investigates different approaches for developing solar resource forecasts based on global numerical weather predictions and extrapolation of cloud motion vectors


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International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme