When I was doing research on satellite derived irradiance data I spoke to more than just my colleagues at Kipp & Zonen and providers of satellite data; I also contacted other stakeholders in the solar energy industry. And that is when I came across different myths that were going around in the industry. Here’s my list of the top myths on the subject of satellite and pyranometer measurements that I would like to dispel.
People frequently ask us questions related to the uncertainties of pyranometer measurements. As the sales & service engineer at the head office I have answered these questions coming from all over the world, especially from customers in renewable energy. I have summed it up in a short overview.
In continuation of the launch of our unique RT1 Smart Rooftop Monitoring System at Intersolar Europe in Munich early 2017, we took the opportunity to exhibit and promote it at Intersolar India in December 2017.
The Future of Solar Power in India
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), an initiative of the Government of India and Indian State Governments, has targeted generating 100 GW of the country’s national power through solar sources by the year 2022.
That’s not a question: we need both! As a result of a fruitful co-operation, 3E and Kipp & Zonen present a joint white paper, indicating that satellite and pyranometer irradiance data can both co-exist and do even complement each other.
You may know that most of the PV panels in the world are manufactured in China. But something you may not know is that, according to official statistics, in 2016 China produced 57.7 GW of PV panels and the new generating capacity in China was 34.54 GW. The total capacity was 77.42 GW by the end of 2016. So you can imagine how fast the speed of development is, or you can call it explosive growth of PV power plants.
Although the Milan airport Malpensa is not the nicest place to be, it is just an airport and 50km (!) from Milan city centre, it was exciting last week; being the venue of the Solar Asset Management Europe conference. It was also a perfect platform to present our DustIQ Soiling Measurement System.
When we introduced the RT1 Rooftop Monitoring System at Intersolar in Munich we were aiming at commercial availability within 4 months and I’m happy to say we have succeeded! RT1 is now ready to order.
Customers in Asia and in Europe have purchased and received the very first RT1’s and are testing them. Soon we’ll be able to share with you their findings.
On evenings and weekends with beautiful weather, I tend to jump on my old-timer scooter and ride the winding roads in the neighbourhood. The scooter is from 1962, and my father used to drive it to work in the sixties. It is still rolling along due to its high build quality and my ongoing good maintenance.
You might have read that the oldest operational Kipp & Zonen pyranometer we found is located in Freiburg (Germany) and 46 years old. Like my scooter, it is still operational due to its build quality and good maintenance! You have to clean the dome, ideally at least every 2 weeks (or as soon as it gets dirty) and at the same time check the levelling and inspect the desiccant colour (and change it when required). With many of our recent instruments you don’t even need to check the desiccant, it is sealed inside.
Part of pyranometer maintenance – and luckily not part of old-timer scooter maintenance – is regular re-calibration. Under the influence of solar radiation, mostly the UV light, the sensitivity might have changed slowly over time.
The world of utility-scale solar energy is becoming a global market; many investors, asset managers, EPCs and O&M parties operate on an international scale, or they intend to do so.
Many of the parties I meet have global strategies and policies and they buy centrally to benefit from large volume prices. An example is a German monitoring firm, which installs worldwide, but puts all the monitoring elements together in Germany and tests the systems before shipment.