WRF-Solar: Description and Clear-Sky Assessment of an Augmented NWP Model for Solar Power Prediction

Jimenez, Pedro A. ; Hacker, Joshua P. ; Dudhia, Jimy ; Haupt, Sue Ellen ; Ruiz-Arias, Jose A. ; Gueymard, Chris A. ; Thompson, Gregory ; Eidhammer, Trude ; Deng, Aijun

Année de publication
WRF-Solar is a specific configuration and augmentation of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model designed for solar energy applications. Recent upgrades to the WRF Model contribute to making the model appropriate for solar power forecasting and comprise 1) developments to diagnose internally relevant atmospheric parameters required by the solar industry, 2) improved representation of aerosol–radiation feedback, 3) incorporation of cloud–aerosol interactions, and 4) improved cloud–radiation feedback. The WRF-Solar developments are presented together with a comprehensive characterization of the model performance for forecasting during clear skies. Performance is evaluated with numerical experiments using a range of different external and internal treatment of the atmospheric aerosols, including both a model-derived climatology of aerosol optical depth and temporally evolving aerosol optical properties from reanalysis products. The necessity of incorporating the influence of atmospheric aerosols to obtain accurate estimations of the surface shortwave irradiance components in clear-sky conditions is evident. Improvements of up to 58%, 76%, and 83% are found in global horizontal irradiance, direct normal irradiance, and diffuse irradiance, respectively, compared to a standard version of the WRF Model. Results demonstrate that the WRF-Solar model is an improved numerical tool for research and applications in support of solar energy.

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