Solar irradiance database

2016 Global Innovation Project

Solar irradiance data is a vital component for energy production analyses for solar (PV or CSP) plants. Therefore, a well underpinned estimate of solar PV generated power helps the business case. From the early stage in policy making and markets designs, via project feasibility and investments in assets, operation and maintenance, the long-term estimate of generated power is vital for investment decisions and the development of operation and maintenance strategies.

Solar irradiance data are obtained from one of two sources: ground measurement stations and/or satellite imagery. Ground measurement data, though very accurate, is typically sparsely available and rarely co-located with potential solar projects. Satellite imagery can be computationally processed to create a ground equivalent irradiance dataset for any location on earth.

DNV development
We are developing a global, satellite-based irradiance database. The model behind the database will be validated against a meteorologically-diverse set of ground-based measurements. The database will capture Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI), Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) and Diffuse Irradiance (DI) within the expected areas of solar development projects, on an hourly basis, up to a resolution of 1 – 5 km. Having this, DNV is capable of offering more advanced satellite-based products, such as quantifying the effect of solar power installations on the grid and supporting the development of solar plants.

This methodology is in operational use for short-term forecasting for a large utility integrating about 1 GW of solar power in its portfolio.

We aim to create a historical database of ground-equivalent solar irradiation data, together with other necessary parameters, for any solar plant location in the world, suitable for use as the primary input to the energy production analyses of solar plants. Customers who will benefit from this service are PV and CSP plant developers, owners, investors, lenders, technical advisory and engineering companies.