Our project Every ray counts has been granted in the Industrial Doctorates call from NWO. In this project, our group at Wageningen University and Research and electricity grid manager Alliander will collaborate with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the Applied Material Science group of Radboud University Nijmegen to provide the best possible weather forecast for solar energy at street level.
This study, which will be performed by Frank Kreuwel of Alliander, is motivated by the challenges that electricity grid management is facing as the result of an increasing number of households with solar panels. Strong but intermittent peaks in incoming solar irradiance can potentially lead to excess voltage or to electric currents that exceed cable capacity, especially in neighborhoods with a large number of solar panel-covered roofs.
With detailed forecasts based on actual solar panel data, HARMONIE data, satellite images, and surface radiation measurements we aim for making the best possible estimates of incoming surface irradiance and its fluctuations in time and space at very fine scales. Furthermore, we will peek into the future, by doing a pilot with very high resolution (spatial resolution ~10 m) solar irradiance forecasting with large-eddy simulations produced by MicroHH.
Picture copyright: Public domain, Bram Vreugdenhil.