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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-141
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-141
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 02 May 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Estimating Solar Irradiance Using Sky Imagers

Soumyabrata Dev1,3, Florian M. Savoy2, Yee Hui Lee1, and Stefan Winkler2,4 Soumyabrata Dev et al.
  • 1School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore 639798
  • 2Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Singapore 138632
  • 3ADAPT SFI Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • 4School of Computing, National University of Singapore

Abstract. Ground-based whole sky cameras are now-a-days extensively used for localized monitoring of the clouds. They capture hemispherical images of the sky at regular intervals using a fisheye lens. In this paper, we derive a model for estimating the solar irradiance using pictures taken by those imagers. Unlike pyranometers, these sky images contain information about the cloud coverage and can be used to derive cloud movement. An accurate estimation of the solar irradiance using solely those images is thus a first step towards short-term solar energy generation forecasting, as cloud movement can also be derived from them. We derive and validate our model using pyranometers co-located with our whole sky imagers. We achieve a root mean square error of 178 Watt/m2 between estimated and measured solar irradiance, outperforming state-of-the-art methods using other weather instruments. Our method shows a significant improvement in estimating strong short-term variations.

Soumyabrata Dev et al.
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Latest update: 17 Aug 2019
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Short summary
Ground-based whole sky cameras are now-a-days extensively used for localized monitoring of the clouds. In this paper, we derive a model for estimating the solar irradiance using pictures taken by those imagers. Unlike pyranometers, these sky images contain information about the cloud coverage and can be used to derive cloud movement. An accurate estimation of the solar irradiance using solely those images is thus a first step towards short-term solar energy generation forecasting.
Ground-based whole sky cameras are now-a-days extensively used for localized monitoring of the...
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