Estimating solar irradiance using sky imagers

Dev, Soumyabrata; Savoy, Florian M.; Lee, Yee Hui; Winkler, Stefan

Ground-based whole-sky cameras are now extensively used for the localized monitoring of clouds. They capture hemispherical images of the sky at regular intervals using a fish-eye lens. In this paper, we propose a framework for estimating solar irradiance from pictures taken by those imagers. Unlike pyranometers, such sky images contain information about cloud coverage and can be used to derive cloud movement. An accurate estimation of solar irradiance using solely those images is thus a first step towards the short-term forecasting of solar energy generation based on cloud movement. We derive and validate our model using pyranometers colocated with our whole-sky imagers. We achieve a better performance in estimating solar irradiance and in particular its short-term variations compared to other related methods using ground-based observations.

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Dev, Soumyabrata / Savoy, Florian M. / Lee, Yee Hui / et al: Estimating solar irradiance using sky imagers. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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