[Bldg-sim] [EnergyPlus_Support] White Box Technologies brings simulation weather data to the satellite age [1 Attachment]

Jim Dirkes jim at buildingperformanceteam.com
Fri Dec 22 11:45:29 PST 2017

I bookmarked this in order to read it with more attention....

I never knew the details  / difficulties with weather file solar radiation
and took for granted their accuracy, mistakenly, it seems.
Thanks for filling in that gap in my knowledge, Joe, and more than that,
helping the entire energy simulation community in the process.

On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 9:12 PM, Joe Huang YJHuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com
[EnergyPlus_Support] <EnergyPlus_Support at yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> It is with joy and some trepidation to report that White Box Technologies
> (WBT) is updating all its historical weather files with satellite-derived
> solar radiation. Joy because this overcomes what has been the most
> significant question mark with weather files; trepidation because of the
> amount of work needed to carry out and maintain this effort. To show that
> this is more than marketing hype, I need to give a rather long explanation
> about this development.
> The bane of weather data over the past three decades has been the solar
> radiation (global horizontal and direct normal) which are not measured
> parameters, but derived using various solar and sky models. All the
> familiar "typical year" sets, i.e., TMY, WYEC, IWEC, etc., let alone the
> historical weather files, have modeled solar radiation. Although a lot of
> work has gone into such models (see M. Iqbal,"An Introduction to Solar
> Radiation", Academic Press, 1983), there remain an almost intractible
> problem of the lack of good measured solar to tune any of these models. For
> example, in the ASHRAE IWEC2 weather files, my team was able to find one or
> two years' measured data for less than 50 locations,
> from which were derived 28 sets of regression coefficients then used for
> all 3,012 IWEC2 locations.
> For the past decade and a half, researchers around the world have been
> working to derive solar radiation from weather satellite imagery, driven
> largely by the needs of the solar power industry for the siting of solar
> power plants and getting "bankable" solar estimates for their arrays. Our
> little building energy simulation sector can of course benefit by hanging
> on the coattails of the solar power industry, but the downside has been to
> be totally priced out, since the commercial cost for one year's solar data
> for one location (grid cell) typically runs around $1,000.
> A welcome development over the last five years is that various government
> offices or affiliated consortia are now beginning to also providing access
> to satellite-derived solar radiation at minimal or more acceptable costs
> under various conditions. Over the past three years, WBT has obtained
> access to such data and permission for its use in WBT weather files.
> WBT is now either replacing the solar radiation on its historical weather
> files, or using satellite-derived radiation to develop custom solar
> coefficients for each location to extend the satellite-derived solar to
> time periods outside the available time window. With the exception of polar
> locations above or below 60/66 degrees, island nations in the Pacific and
> Indian Ocean, and a few unfortunate "blind spots", the entire land mass is
> being covered with at least 10 years up to 18 years of hourly solar records.
> Starting in 2018, WBT historical weather files in the following areas will
> all have satellite-derived solar radiation for the following time periods:
> Europe, Africa, South America east of 66 West, i.e., Brazil and Uruguay
> (2004 to date), Australia (1999 to date), and East Asia (2007 to date,
> access pending). WBT historical weather files in the following areas will
> have satellite-derived solar radiation for the indicated time periods -
> North America and Central/South American down to 20 South (1998-2015),
> South Asia (2000-2014), with modeled solar radiation from 2016 on that has
> been individually tuned to the past satellite-derived solar.
> Another benefit to the satellite-derived solar is to increases the number
> of available weather stations, which in many places has been limited by the
> lack of cloud cover data needed to model the solar radiation.  For reasons
> that are not immediately identifiable, several English-speaking
> Commonwealth countries has seen a marked drop in the number of available
> stations due to the decreases in the reporting of cloud cover (see plot,
> ZAF = South Africa). For example, the number of stations in the UK has
> dropped by almost 2/3s between 2001 and 2017 (174 to 64), but with
> satellite-derived solar, it will go back up to over 180, while in Australia
> and South Africa the comparable numbers are from 175 to well over 500, and
> from 37 to over 100, respectively.
> If interested, customers who have purchased a historical weather files
> from WBT over the past five years can get an updated weather file at no
> cost. Lastly, although it will take at least a month to update all 10,000
> 2017 files, it's very quick to do for any specific location or even 50 or
> so locations. Therefore, if you have an urgent request please e-mail me and
> I will put that at the beginning of the queue for that day.
> --
> Joe Huang
> White Box Technologies, Inc.
> 346 Rheem Blvd., Suite 205A
> Moraga CA 94556yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.comhttp://weather.whiteboxtechnologies.com for simulation-ready weather data
> (o) (925)388-0265 <(925)%20388-0265>
> (c) (510)928-2683 <(510)%20928-2683>
> "building energy simulations at your fingertips"
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> Posted by: Joe Huang <yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com>
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James V Dirkes II, CEO / President
The Building Performance Team Inc.
1631 Acacia Dr, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(alphabet soup of efforts for greater understanding: PE, BEMP, BCxP, LEED

Direct / Mobile: 616.450.8653
jim at buildingperformanceteam.com

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*Coffee conversation:*My opinion and experience:
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