A transferable turbidity estimation method for estimating clear-sky solar irradiance

Shanlin Chen, Zhaojian Liang, Peixin Dong, Su Guo, Mengying Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A transferable turbidity estimation method is proposed for estimating the turbidity and clear-sky solar irradiance. Instead of using on-site irradiance measurements (i.e., the local model), a transferable model is developed involving stations with sufficient information, and then applied at locations with limited data availability. Compared with the local method, the transferable model yields results with slightly higher discrepancies regrading normalized root mean squared error (nRMSE, 2.80% vs 2.75%). When compared with the Ineichen–Perez (PVLIB) model, the nRMSE of clear-sky global horizontal irradiance (GHIcs) estimation is reduced from 4.99% to 2.44%, and the normalized mean bias error (nMBE) is improved from -3.37% to 0.57%. The GHIcs estimation is comparable with physical models (i.e., McClear and REST2), where the McClear produces a nRMSE of 3.32% and the nMBE is 2.10%, while the REST2 generates results with an nRMSE of 2.55% and an nMBE of 1.30%. We further compare aforementioned models for day-ahead GHIcs forecasts using a day persistent way. GHIcs forecast from the transferable method has slightly lower discrepancies of nRMSE and nMBE than the physical models. Considering the complexity of physical models, the transferable turbidity estimation method with comparable performance demonstrates valuable potential for solar resourcing and forecasting applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Clear-sky irradiance
  • Solar resourcing and forecasting
  • Transferable model
  • Turbidity estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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