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IEA SHC Task 46: Solar Irradiation Data Helps Schedule and Operate Solar Thermal Plants

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 19, 2015
Irradiation ChartIEA SHC Task 46, Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting, is an SHC project conducted in cooperation with IEA’s SolarPACES for Concentrating Solar Power and the Photovoltaic Power Systems programme. Accurate assessment and forecasting of solar irradiation is a key issue in planning and operating solar electricity and solar thermal plants. Task 46 has been evaluating various forecasting models and standardisation procedures for irradiation measurement, for example, regarding detail and accuracy. Numerical Weather Prediction and cloud models based on satellite images (CM-sat) with their up-to hourly resolution are detailed enough for rough estimates of solar generation capacities within the next hours and days. Grid integration and power plant control, however, require algorithms based on CM-SI (Cloud Models based on Sky Imaging) time-series modelling to forecast irradiation seconds or a few hours away (see figure on the left). 
Figure: University Oldenburg

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