24 Mar '14, 1pm

Clearing Up Cloudy Understanding on Solar Power Plant Output

Clearing Up Cloudy Understanding on Solar Power Plant Output

Sandia National Laboratories researcher Matt Lave uses pyranometers like these to measure the amount of irradiance, or available sunlight. There are four round pyranometers, capped by small glass domes, on this device. The work shows that the variability of a point sensor is larger than the variability of a photovoltaic power plant. Credit: Dino Vournas But clouds could dim industry growth: What happens when they cover part of a solar PV array and cause a dip in output, how big is the dip and how can a utility company compensate for it? Sandia researcher Matt Lave has been working to understand that drawback and determine just how much clouds can affect solar power plant output. Typically, sunlight is measured using a single irradiance point sensor, which correlates nicely to a single PV panel. But that doesn’t translate to a large PV power plant. “If a cloud passes over, ...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014...

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