About monthly mean daily global solar exposure data


Historical monthly mean daily global solar exposure data are provided from this product in a variety of formats - web (HTML), data (CSV), graphical, and print (PDF). There is a tool to change between megajoule per square metre (MJ m -2) and kilowatt-hour per square metre (kwh m-2). 1 kwh m-2 = 3.6 MJ m -2.

The table of monthly global solar exposure data

Above the table of data

Metadata about the Bureau station
Information about the Bureau station used to retrieve data in the table.

Near the top of the data table page are links to Help Pages, including this information page. Also at the same location are links to download the solar exposure data in text file format (CSV files) suitable for importing into spreadsheets, and in PDF format for printing. The text formatted data are available in one month per record data format, and in one year per record format, with the 12 monthly values and an annual value in the one row. These files are created at the same time as the HTML page and automatically removed from the web site after a short time. Thus a stored link to one of these files (such as a Bookmark or Favorite in your browser) may not work for very long after it was created.

Global solar exposure is not measured by equipment at the Bureau station selected in the Climate Data Online menu. The data are obtained from satellite images. The process of displaying the data uses the latitude and longitude of the Bureau's ground observation stations to retrieve the data for a point within Australia. A basic site summary and topographic map of the area around the Bureau station are provided by clicking on the map icon.

Information and display options for data in the table
Key information and display options at the top of the data table.

A control to change the units of measurement is provided on the right, directly above the table. There is also an option to highlight values in the table which are above or below the mean values calculated from all available observations.

The table of data

Structure of the data table
Structure of the data table.

Near the top of the table, below the column headings for each month, are links to graphs of the monthly global solar exposure for each month of the year, as well as a year by year graph. Following this are the solar exposure observations, with the year in the left column. For each month of each year a table cell may contain:

  • A number in normal black text - mean daily solar exposure for the month. These solar exposure data, being derived from satellite observations, do not go through the conventional quality control process of ground-based observations. Thus there is no indicator of the status of quality control (such as the red italic text 12.3 used for other elements such as rainfall).
  • A blank cell - no solar exposure is available for that month.

Summary solar exposure statistics

Summary statistics at the bottom of the table
Summary statistics are provided beneath the data table.

Below the main table of data is a summary table of monthly solar exposure statistics, including the long-term mean for each month and an annual mean. Also included in the table are the highest and lowest means for any individual month over the period for which observations were made. The statistics are not provided if there are less than 10 years of data available.

Finally, at the bottom of the page is the Bureau's product code for this page, and a unique reference number. Please record this number if you need to contact the Bureau about any aspect of the data you have retrieved. Further information is available from the Bureau, and there may be a charge associated with this service.

Graphical display of data

monthly graph of rainfall
A graph of mean daily global solar exposure for August, for each year of observation

If you click on the graph icon within the main data table a graph of the corresponding month of data will be generated. Above the graph is a menu which will re-plot the graph for a newly selected time period. Missing data are represented by a cross on the x axis (time axis) of the graph. A graph of the year by year mean daily global solar exposure is also available.

Using these data

Satellite-derived global solar exposure estimates are based on images from the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite GMS-5, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-9), MTSAT-1R, MTSAT-2 and Himawari-8 satellites, which are provided with permission of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Any use of products from this imagery requires acknowledgement of the satellites of JMA and NOAA as the original source of the satellite data, and acknowledgement of the Commonwealth of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology) which received and processed the images.

Acknowledgement should be in the form: "Solar exposure data derived from satellite imagery processed by the Bureau of Meteorology from the Himawari series operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and from GOES-9 operated by the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Japan Meteorological Agency".


Page updated: 09 December 2010