Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



JUNE 2001 MERINO ET AL. 1085-1094


2001 American Meteorological Society


In this paper, linear and spherical semivariogram models were determined for use in kriging hourly and daily solar irradiation for every season of the year. The data used to generate the models were from 18 weather stations in western Nebraska. The models generated were tested using cross validation. The performance of the spherical and linear semivariogram models were compared with each other and also with the semivariogram models based on the best fit to the sample semivariogram of a particular day or hour. There were no significant differences in the performance of the three models. This result and the comparable errors produced by the models in kriging indicated that the linear and spherical models could be used to perform kriging at any hour and day of the year without deriving an individual semivariogram model for that day or hour.

The seasonal mean absolute errors associated with kriging, within the network, when using the spherical or the linear semivariograms models were between 10% and 13% of the mean irradiation for daily irradiation and between 12% and 20% for hourly irradiation. These errors represent an improvement of 1%–2% when compared with replacing data at a given site with the data of the nearest weather station.