Intelligent performance check of pv system operation based on satellite data

A Drews, J Betcke, E Lorenz, D Heinemann, P Toggweiler, S Stettler, J Rasmussen, W Van Sark, G Heilscher, M Schneider, E Wiemken, W Heydenreich, H G Beyer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The PVSAT-2 project, supported by the European Union (EU), aims at the assembling of a fully automated service for performance check and error detection for photovoltaic (PV) systems. This procedure will reduce the operators running costs by helping optimizing energy yields and system maintenance by daily surveillance. Malfunctions of a grid-connected PV system, e.g. drop out of single module strings, shading by surrounding objects, or inverter errors lead to energy losses that can be high and costly if they remain undetected for a longer period of time. PVSAT-2 provides a user-friendly, accurate, and reliable method to avoid unnecessary energy losses and therefore prevents operators from decisive financial losses. PVSAT-2 is the successor of the EU project PVSAT that already helps PV system operators to detect system faults by providing monthly a system specific reference yield calculated from satellite measured irradiance data and a PV system simulation. PVSAT-2 takes up here with newly added components like error detection, further improvement of the irradiance calculation and PV simulation, and the fully automation of the whole procedure: • A local hardware device will automate yield measurements and will communicate daily with a central server. • Software on this server will analyse the performance of the PV system on a daily basis and automatically detect system failures and their causes. • Combining satellite data with ground data of irradiance will improve the accuracy of the horizontal global irradiance. • An enhanced model for diffuse radiation will improve the accuracy of the array plane irradiance. • The PV system model that carries out the PV simulation will be improved to allow the simulation of non c-Si modules. This paper will present the overall structure of the PVSAT-2 performance check and and some first results. The main focus will be on the error detection routine and its central footprint algorithm. The improvements made at the irradiance calculation scheme and its relevance for the error detection will be touched. Further details on the irradiance calculation will be presented in detail in a separate paper as well as the enhanced PV system model.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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