On the determination of coherent solar climates over a tropical island with a complex topography

Mialhe, Pauline ; Pohl, Benjamin ; Morel, Béatrice ; Trentmann, Jörg ; Jumaux, Guillaume ; Bonnardot, François ; Bessafi, Miloud ; Chabriat, Jean-Pierre

Année de publication
2020
Résumé
<p align=justify>Many tropical islands aim at developing a greener self-sufficient energy production systems based on renewable energy, notably solar-generated electricity. This work explores the mean diurnal and annual solar cycles over La Réunion island (southwest Indian Ocean: 21°S, 55.5°E), and their spatial behavior, using the Solar surfAce RAdiation Heliosat - East (SARAH-E) satellite-derived data at high spatial (0.05°×0.05°) and time (hourly) resolutions over period 1999-2016. Comparisons of the SARAH-E data with ground-based measurements over the period 2011-2015 show differences of ~15% for diurnal-seasonal variations. The solar resource over the island displays strong spatial variability, with differences larger than 100 Wm-2 between coastal and mountainous zones. The mean solar resource is lower on the island than on the nearby sea by ~20%. The strongest interactions between the diurnal and annual cycles are found at the windward mid-slopes and near the active volcano, in line with the well-known cloud processes encountered there. A clustering of solar zones, based on diurnal-seasonal cycles, structures the island into a dipole that opposes the western to the eastern side of the island.</p>
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