New Era in Performance Assessment of Photovoltaic Systems Starts With pvSpot
- Published: Thursday, 18 October 2012 19:08
GeoModel Solar has launched SolarGIS pvSpot, a new generation performance assessment tool for photovoltaic power plants.
pvSpot is a unique solution that can be used to detect underperformance of any photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Europe and South Africa. It is based on the latest advancements in satellite-based solar modelling and electricity simulation.
"Solar industry needs independent data and approaches for transparent evaluation of existing PV capacities. Because pvSpot uses high-resolution validated satellite data and proven algorithms, independence and quality of performance assessment is guaranteed. While pvSpot can be used as a complementary tool for well-monitored utility scale PV projects, it is practically the only reliable solution for medium-size and small PV installations," said Marcel Suri, managing director of GeoModel Solar.
Comparison of actual and expected energy production is the best indicator of performance. For evaluation, expected production must be calculated precisely. This is only possible if site-specific solar radiation information is available in real time.
Until now, a typical practice has been to acquire data from cheap sensors or nearby meteo stations. Such approaches compromise on accuracy of solar radiation. Installing high-quality pyranometers and related hardware is a better solution, but challenges still remain. Ground measurements are often subject to errors due to missing or inconsistent data, shaded or unclean sensors, and they require rigorous quality checking.
"We have decided to implement satellite-based data, to achieve harmonised, validated and independent performance evaluation of our portfolio of PV power plants on regular basis," said Klaus Fuchs, CEO from RENERGIE Solárny Park Holding SK a.s.
Satellite-based solar radiation is a reliable option for investors and lenders. pvSpot uses data from SolarGIS, recognised as the most accurate solar resource database on the market. pvSpot has been showcased at EUPVSEC exhibition in Frankfurt and it is accessible at http://solargis.info/ The SolarGIS platform was recently acknowledged at SNEC exhibition in Shanghai as one of ten most advanced technologies in PV.