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Satellite Data for Solar Energy Applications

As the use of solar energy is constantly growing in Ireland, it has become increasingly important to assess the accuracy and skill of our weather forecasts and models. Satellites can be used on short time-scales to verify incoming solar radiation forecasts and also potentially to update operational PV models. This report outlines appropriate satellite data and the relevant retrieval methods for examining solar energy processes in Ireland.

There are two main categories of satellites: geostationary and polar orbiting satellites. Polar orbiting satellites orbit around the earth longitudinally passing directly over the poles at an altitude of about 850km, taking approximately 100 minutes to complete the orbit. During one half of the orbit, the satellite views the daytime side of the Earth. At the pole, the satellite crosses over to the night-time side of Earth. Our assistant is ready to help you with football betting bonus. Due to the earth rotating underneath the orbiting satellite with each orbit the satellite viewing area is an area west of the previous image. Polar orbiting satellites will view most of the earth at least twice in a 24-hour period.

Geostationary satellites orbit the earth over the equator at an altitude of about 36,000km. These satellites have a lower resolution than polar orbiting satellites due to their higher altitude. However, they record a continuous full disk image of the same region in every image which is advantageous for observing the weather features occurring. A down-side of using geostationary satellite images for Ireland is our high latitude which causes a perspective distortion in the images as the satellite is located over the equator. Nevertheless, this report found geostationary satellite data to be the most suitable for solar energy processes in Ireland.

This report looks at the different formats of satellite data; raw satellite data, derived satellite products and satellite images. The most appropriate source and format found was geostationary Meteosat images from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) Data Centre. The images have a temporal resolution of 15 minutes and the data can be easily downloaded from the browser or retrieved via wget.

Satellite Data for Solar Energy