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Content archived on 2024-05-14

Remote performance check for grid connected PV systems using satellite data


Objectives of the project

Small photovoltaic (PV) systems (i.e. in the power range of 1 to 10 kWp) regularly do not include any long term surveillance mechanism. As most system operators are not PV specialists, partial system faults or decreasing performance may not be recognized. The project will set up a remote performance check for small grid connected PV systems. No additional hardware installation will be necessary on site.

Technical approach

The site specific solar irradiation data will be derived from satellite images rather than from ground based measurements. On the basis of monthly irradiation time series, monthly values of PV system yield will be calculated and distributed automatically via postcard, fax or e-mail (whatever is most suitable) towards the system operators. The work necessary for the establishment of the PVSAT procedure is divided in five work packages:
(1 ) Set up of a calculation procedure from satellite image data to site and system specific solar radiation at ground level.

(2) Comparison of satellite derived radiation data with data from interpolation between ground stations, as quality check for the results of WP 1.

(3) Definition of a generalized plant description, applicable to (residential) grid connected PV systems, and a corresponding numerical plant performance model for use with sparse input data.

(4) Integration of the results of WPs 1 to 3 into the operational PVSAT performance check system.

(5) Test and evaluation of the PVSAT procedure in the field, aided by solar energy users associations .

Expected achievements

The procedure will provide an operational, very low cost, long term surveillance for small PV systems, applicable to nearly any site within Europe. The mailings generated by PVSAT will remind the system operator periodically to check the performance of his installation, by comparing the meter reading at his site to the predicted value. In this way, a high system performance will be ensured over the whole lifetime of a PV system. Concerning the operating costs, the PVSAT procedure bears the potential of being the most cost effective way to check the performance of a large number of systems. This will enable a broad application of the procedure.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Heidenhofstrasse 2

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Total cost
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Participants (3)