Estimating solar potential for the purpose of evaluating photovoltaic projects' feasibility and monitoring solution using on-site sensors for the highest certainty in the results, up to 98%.
Solar Data Collector
Solar Data Collector is an intelligent metering device for advanced forecasting and proactive management of the output of photovoltaic systems. The solution measures irradiation, temperature and humidity in more precise manner and uses specific algorithms and historical data for predictions’ modelling.
Worldwide growth of solar (photovoltaics, PV) is a continuous exponential curve which amounts to 40% annual growth, evolving from a niche market of small scale applications to a mainstream electricity source. Nevertheless, frequently varying output of PV caused by clouds movement and weather condition make it an intermittent and unreliable source when connected to grid. Connecting intermittent sources to grid introduces challenges in various technical aspects such as power quality, protection, generation dispatch control and reliability. In this context, the use of advanced forecasting of variable generation has become an essential strategy, allowing users to proactively manage the system’s output and maintain grid’s stability.
Every location has a different solar energy potential, depending on many factors such as climate effects, sunlight amount, objects obstructing the sunlight etc. Proper prediction of the expected output is therefore needed for ensuring optimal technical specifications of the PV system. Current prediction solutions use satellite data and simulation models that face variety of challenges when modelling complex horizons, particularly in urban areas. The proposed solution determines the potential output of PV systems in more efficient and cost-effective manner. The metering device is placed at the desired location, performing 24/7 sensor-aided readings that are transmitted to the server. Relevant factors are being measured including irradiation, temperature and humidity. Recorded data are analysed by specific algorithms that combined with historical data from other sources allows the solution to make predictions for optimization of the PV system. All data are accessible in real time via dedicated web and mobile application.
Advantages and innovations
Higher precision and certainty in the estimated power yield
Ability to simulate different scenarios (types of panels, sizes, technical specifications)
Optimization of the system’s specifications for the maximum power yield
Real-time data monitoring and automated result generation
Easy to use and understandable interface for not technically inclined users
We are working with the state company of electricity in Macedonia (ELEM) on the planning and development of a 10 MW solar plant. For that subject, 8 prototype units will be used on several locations to help analyze and estimate the potential power yield. This case study will be also used to test and verify the functionality and accuracy of the proposed solution. 3 other private companies expressed interest in testing and providing feedback for the technology.