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GRADRAD: The Greater Durban Radiometric Network

GRADRAD is an abbreviation for the Greater Durban Radiometric Network. It is a local radiometric database that currently includes three broadband ground stations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. These are the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) Howard College and Westville campus, and the Solar Thermal Application Research Laboratory (STARlab) located at the Mangosuthu University of Technology. These stations are within a 20km radius of each other and lie on the east coast of South Africa. The sampling scheme employed allows the collection of high quality global, direct and diffuse irradiance measurements by sampling at six-second intervals and averaging over a one-minute period. The stations use similar thermopile instruments and a common software format to facilitate comparison of data.


The project aims to assess the local solar resource and so quatify micro-climates effects for stations located a short distance apart. It is aimed to expand beyond provincial boundaries, and include South Africa as a whole. Anticipated uses include assessment and modelling of energy solar systems, climate research and verification of satellite radiometric estimates.

UKZN Howard College
Location: 29.9º South, 30.98º East
Elevation: 151.3m
UKZN Westville
Location: 29.51º South, 30.6º East
Elevation: 205m

Location: 29.9º South, 30.92º East
Elevation: 105m

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