Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Escobar R.A., Cortés C., Pino A., Bueno-Pereira E., Ramos Martins F. and Cardemil J.M. (2014)

Solar energy resource assessment in Chile: Satellite estimation and ground station measurements

Revista : Renewable Energy
Volumen : 71
Páginas : 324-332
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The progress from the last four years in solar energy resource assessment for Chile is reported, including measurements from a ground station network spanning from two to three years of data, and satellite estimations from the recently developed Chile-SR model including two full years of data. The model introduces different procedures for the meteorological variables and the effective cloud cover computations that allow estimation of the global horizontal and diffuse irradiation on an hourly basis. Direct normal irradiation is computed by applying proper solar geometry corrections to the direct horizontal irradiation. The satellite estimation model was developed as an adaptation from Brazil-SR model, with an improved formulation for altitude-corrected atmospheric parameters, and a novel formulation for calculating effective cloud covers while at the same time detecting and differentiating it from snow covers and salt lakes. The model is validated by comparison with ground station data. The results indicate that there are high radiation levels throughout the country. In particular, northern Chile is endowed with one of the highest solar resources in the world.