Renewable energy has taken center stage as a key solution to achieving a more sustainable planet.
Solar energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in the world. To make the most of solar power plants, however, it is critical to continuously monitor performance. Smart solar irradiation and weather monitoring provide highly accurate measurements that make it easy to proactively maintain optimal performance.
Vaisala’s eBook, Powering the future with precision, explores the solar irradiance and weather factors that can impact performance the most, and why automatic weather stations are the most efficient and cost-effective solution to gain actionable insights over the entire life cycle of any solar power plant.
Weather: fueling renewable energy
Photovoltaics (PV) and wind turbines use weather as the fuel. Knowing the fuel's quality and future reliability is essential for determining a project's bankability.
Renewable energy plants need resource information for development, operation, and analysis such as:
- Historical long-term data for site selection during feasibility studies.
- Real-time energy measurement and forecasting for plant and grid operations.
- Prediction of power plant energy output throughout its entire lifetime for plant design and financing.
Growing in the sun
According to International Energy Agency, cheap electricity from renewable sources could provide 65% of the world’s total electricity supply by 2030 and decarbonise 90% of the power sector by 2050 — massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change.
By prioritising low-cost energy sources, promoting energy efficiency, and implementing demand-side management measures, a sustainable and affordable energy future can be achieved.
There are four critical factors to ensure long-term profitability and keep levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) as low as possible:
- Thoroughly assess the resource prior to farm design.
- Select the appropriate technology and design during project development.
- Always monitor the power plant performance to trigger the appropriate preventive and corrective actions and deliver on the project.
- Continuously monitor solar irradiance onsite.
How performance monitoring benefits solar power plants
Monitoring solar performance is crucial for maintaining and optimising solar energy assets, and is also essential to keeping LCOE as low as possible. With it, operators can spot and fix small problems to avoid expensive repairs and downtime while maximising power output — all of which ensure a better return on investment (ROI). Investors can decide with confidence whether to increase their investments or exit underperforming assets.
Performance monitoring using an automatic weather station empowers continual proactive maintenance: Monitor performance ratio, detect underperformance at an early stage, and take action to maximise power generation.The automatic weather station connection
The operator then uses this data to evaluate system performance and detect any issues such as module deterioration, shading or equipment failures. An automatic weather station makes it easy to spot — and act on — the weather factors that are compromising performance so you can get the most out of the sun every day.
The most important parameters to measure are: solar irradiance, wind, temperature, rain, humidity, and dust. All of these can impact solar PV plant performance.
For more details, download a free copy of the eBook on Vaisala’s website: www.vaisala.com/en/lp/ebook-powering-future-accuracy
Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/special-reports/04092023/vaisala-introduces-comprehensive-weather-station-for-solar-power-plant-optimisation/
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