Locus Energy has launched an advanced irradiance modeling tool, ‘Virtual Irradiance (VI)’, which provides solar fleet operators with data on the amount of sunlight that is striking the ground, enabling a highly accurate assessment of solar PV system performance.
Greater emphasis is being placed on the need to optimise PV system performance due to lower incentives and switch to self-consumption. PV fleet managers require accurate data to enable them to understand performance across a fleet and effectively handle O&M issues.The use of satellite imagery to estimate solar irradiance at ground level represents a reliable and cost-effective alternative to physical measurements of solar radiation. Modelled irradiance is particularly important for performance analysis of residential PV installations, which, unlike commercial systems, are generally not supplemented with costly on-site irradiance sensors.
The first release as part of Locus Energy's PVIQ suite of analytical tools, VI allows fleet managers to determine if a system is performing up to expectations based on the amount of sunlight that is available at a particular time and location. Such information drives down costs by improving operations and maintenance efficiency, thus helping to accelerate the widespread adoption of solar. Virtual Irradiance VI uses data from weather stations and satellite imagery to provide highly accurate, ground-level irradiance data for any location in the continental United States. For small- to medium- sized systems, VI eliminates the need for an on-site sensor, which may be prohibitively expensive. For larger systems at which an on-site sensor may already have been installed, VI can fill gaps in and validate sensor data, which can become skewed due to miscalibration, soiling and other factors.
Solar irradiance analytics for problem solving and O&M operations.
Virtual Irradiance VI may be used with existing system software or as an add-on to Locus Energy's SolarNOC (Network Operations Center) software, a cloud-based software application providing enterprise-class tools for fleet managers to collect, organize and assess performance data from a diverse set of solar PV assets. The filters of SolarNOC's customized dashboard provide an unprecedented level of control over how performance data is aggregated and displayed.
July 2014 onwards.