Compatibility of different measurement techniques of global solar radiation and application for long-term observations at Izaña Observatory
Abstract. A 1-year inter-comparison of classical and modern radiation and sunshine duration (SD) instruments has been performed at Izaña Atmospheric Observatory (IZO) located in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) starting on 17 July 2014. We compare daily global solar radiation (GSRH) records measured with a Kipp & Zonen CM-21 pyranometer, taken in the framework of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network, with those measured with a multifilter rotating shadowband radiometer (MFRSR), a bimetallic pyranometer (PYR) and GSRH estimated from sunshine duration performed by a Campbell–Stokes sunshine recorder (CS) and a Kipp & Zonen sunshine duration sensor (CSD). Given that the BSRN GSRH records passed strict quality controls (based on principles of physical limits and comparison with the LibRadtran model), they have been used as reference in the inter-comparison study. We obtain an overall root mean square error (RMSE) of ∼ 0.9 MJm−2 (4 %) for PYR and MFRSR GSRH, 1.9 (7 %) and 1.2 MJm−2 (5 %) for CS and CSD GSRH, respectively. Factors such as temperature, relative humidity (RH) and the solar zenith angle (SZA) have been shown to moderately affect the GSRH observations. As an application of the methodology developed in this work, we have re-evaluated the GSRH data time series obtained at IZO with two PYRs between 1977 and 1991. Their high consistency and temporal stability have been proved by comparing with GSRH estimates obtained from SD observations. These results demonstrate that (1) the continuous-basis inter-comparison of different GSRH techniques offers important diagnostics for identifying inconsistencies between GSRH data records, and (2) the GSRH measurements performed with classical and more simple instruments are consistent with more modern techniques and, thus, valid to recover GSRH data time series and complete worldwide distributed GSRH data. The inter-comparison and quality assessment of these different techniques have allowed us to obtain a complete and consistent long-term global solar radiation series (1977–2015) at Izaña.