Sensitivity Study for Forecasting Variables of WRF-Solar Using a Tangent Linear Approach

Jaemo Yang, Manajit Sengupta, Yu Xie, Pedro Jimenez, Ju-Hye Kim

Research output: NRELPresentation


Integrating solar generation in recent years has highlighted the need for improved accuracy in predicting solar power. Confidence in solar power forecasting can be achieved by designing an ensemble that provides reliable probabilistic information for solar radiation with reduced uncertainty and error. Ideally, ensemble members are created through the optimized perturbation of the initial conditions in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. Tangent linear models are capable of efficiently investigating the sensitivity of solar radiation to model input parameters because they do not require individual perturbation of each variable. This sensitivity study using tangent linear models provide us the capability to identify the right variables to perturb in an ensemble prediction system. In this study, we developed tangent linear models for WRF-Solar modules that directly impact the computation of solar radiation and the simulation of cloud formation and dissipation including the Fast All-sky Model for Solar Applications (FARMS), the Noah land surface model (LSM), the Thompson microphysics, the Mello-Yamada-Nakanishi-Niino (MYNN) boundary layer parameterization, and the Deng scheme for a shallow-convection parameterization. A sensitivity analysis was conducted under various scenarios based on satellite observations and model simulations from the National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB) and WRF-Solar, respectively. Critical forecasting variables that are highly sensitive to the forecasting of global horizontal irradiance (GHI), direct normal irradiance (DNI), cloud mixing ratio, cloud tendency, cloud fraction, and sensible and latent heat fluxes were determined using the relevant WRF-Solar module. This study will be used as a guidance on future research leading to high-quality probabilistic solar forecasting. In this presentation, we discuss the validation of tangent linear approach for WRF-Solar modules and illustrate how the sensitivity results are valuable in the improvement of probabilistic solar prediction.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePresented at AMS 2020: American Meteorological Society 100th Annual Meeting, 12-16 January 2020, Boston, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5D00-75802


  • ensemble
  • probabilistic solar prediction
  • sensitivity analysis
  • tangent linear
  • WRF-Solar


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