SunCaster is an in-house model tool that provides with historical long-term series and Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) that are useful for the evaluation of the solar resource of a specific site.
The base information of the model is extracted from the following sources:
- Geostationary satellites: Meteosat First Generation (MFG-IODC) and Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite data (©EUMETSAT).
- Aerosol and water vapour daily data from MODIS (©NASA).
- Topography information (elevation and shading) from SRTM30.
This process prepares the input data in order to generate Global Horizontal Irradiance, Direct Normal Irradiance and Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (GHI, DNI and DHI respectively) outputs. A modified version of Heliosat-3 algorithm is used for obtaining information from satellite images (reflectivity values) as albedo characteristics, Linke turbidity index is extracted from MODIS daily data, and SRTM30 process supposes terrain elevation information.
The spatial resolution is 3×3 km for the MFG-IODC imagery, and 1×1 km for the MSG imagery.