Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 117, Issue 1–2, pp 233–246 | Cite as

Accuracy of CM-SAF solar irradiance incident on horizontal surface

  • Viorel Badescu
  • Alexandru Dumitrescu
Original Paper


The Climate Monitoring Satellite Application Facility (CM-SAF) provides estimates of global solar irradiance incident on horizontal surface at Earth surface. Measurements performed in 2010 at five Romanian meteorological stations are used to test the accuracy of the CM-SAF irradiance data. The dataset contains null solar global irradiance values, which cannot be explained by very large values of the zenith angle neither by overcast sky conditions. Sub-databases have been created. The database Z85 consists of irradiance data, without filtering and processing. The database Z85SIS+ remove all null irradiance values. For a given database, the root mean square error (RMSE) with respect to the ground-based measurements is rather similar for all stations, i.e. around 35 % for Z85 and 24 % for Z85SIS+. On average, the database Z85SIS+ has smaller mean bias error (MBE) than the database Z85, independent of the degree of cloudiness. For the database Z85, MBE (RMSE) ranges, depending on station, between −9.4 and −1.2 % (35.3 and 39.1 %). For database Z85SIS+, the MBE (RMSE) ranges, depending on station, between −4.0 and 0.1 % (23.0 and 29.1 %). On overcast sky, we found for some stations MBE = −0.1 % and RMSE = 46.4 % when the database Z85SIS+ has been considered. The accuracy of the database Z85 is lower; we found MBE = −7.0 % and RMSE = 58.8 % as extreme cases.


Root Mean Square Error Zenith Angle Solar Irradiance Bias Error International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Dr. Joerg Trentmann (CM-SAF team) for further clarifications about CM-SAF data sets and operational products. This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0089 and by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology project COST ES1002.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Candida Oancea InstitutePolytechnic University of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.National Meteorological AdministrationBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Romanian AcademyBucharestRomania

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