Management and Exploitation of Solar Resource Knowledge

C. Hoyer-Klick1*, H. G. Beyer2, D. Dumortier3, M. Schroedter-Homscheidt4, L. Wald5, M.
Martinoli6, C. Schilings1, B. Gschwind5, L. Menard5, E. Gaboardi6, L. Ramirez-Santigosa7, J.
Polo7, T. Cebecauer8,T. Huld8, M. Suri8, M. de Blas9, E. Lorenz10, R. Pfatischer11, J. Remund12, P.

Ineichen13, A. Tsvetkov14, J. Hofierka15

1 German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569

Stuttgart, Germany

2 Hochschule Magdeburg-Standal, Germany. 3Ecole Nationale des Travaus Publics de l’Etat (ENTPE), France
4 German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center, Germany 5 Ecole des Mines de Paris, France
6 Icons srl., Italy 7 CIEMAT, Spain 8 European Commission, Joint Research Center, Institute for Energy, Italy
9 Universidad Publica de Navarra, Spain 10 Oldenburg University, Energy — and Semiconductor Research Lab,
Germany 11 meteocontrol GmbH, Germany 12 Meteotest, Switzerland 13 University of Geneva, Switzerland
14 Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, World Radiation Data Center, Russia
15 University of Presov, Slovakia

Corresponding Author, carsten. hoyer-klick@dlr. de

Abstract

Knowledge of the solar energy resource is essential for the planning and operation of solar energy systems. In past years there has been substantial European and national funding to develop information systems on solar radiation data, leading to the situations that several data bases exist in parallel, developed by different approaches, various spatial and temporal coverages and resolutions including those exploiting satellite data. The user of these products may end up with different results for the same requested sites. To better guide the users, a benchmarking exercise is under preparation. A set of reference data has been collected and benchmarking measures and rules have been defined. The results of the benchmarking and the feedback from stakeholders will be integrated into a guide of best practices in the application of solar resource knowledge. Access to data has been quite fragmented. Each service has its own way of access to the data and delivery format. A new broker portal based on the experience of the project Soda aims to unify and ease the access to distributed data sources and applications providing solar resource information.

Keywords: Solar resource information, benchmarking, access to data, user guidance

1. Introduction

Knowledge of the solar energy resource is essential for the planning and operation of solar energy systems. In past years there has been substantial funding from the European Commission to develop information systems on solar radiation data, such as the European Solar Radiation Atlas (ESRA), the projects SoDa, Satel-Light, PVGIS, PVSAT, PVSAT-2 or Heliosat-3 and the Envisolar project of the European Space Agency (ESA). In addition national services were set up as Meteonorm by Meteotest in Switzerland and SOLEMI by DLR in Germany. The information on available databases and
integrated systems has been summarised and later updated in [1,2]. From the regional point of view, the projects focused mainly on Europe or its regions, leading to the situation that several different data bases exist in parallel developed by different approaches, various spatial and temporal coverages and different resolutions including those exploiting satellite data. The users comparing information from different data sources for the requested sites may end up with uncertainty that is difficult to deal with.

Large steps forward have been made for the benefit of research, renewable energy industry, policy making and the environment. Nevertheless, these multiple efforts have led to a fragmentation and uncoordinated access: different sources of information and solar radiation products are now available, but uncertainty about their quality remains. At the same time, communities of users lack common understanding how to exploit the developed knowledge.

The project MESoR started in June 2007 and aims at removing the uncertainty and improving the management of the solar energy resource knowledge. The results of past and present large-scale initiatives in Europe, will be integrated, standardised and disseminated in a harmonised way to facilitate their effective exploitation by stakeholders. The project will contribute to preparation of the future roadmap for R&D and strengthening the European position in the international field.

The project includes activities in user guidance (benchmarking of models and data sets; handbook of best practices), unification of access to information (use of advanced information technologies; offering one-stop-access to several databases), connecting to other initiatives (INSPIRE of the EU, POWER of the NASA, SHC and PVPS of the IEA, GMES/GEO) and to related scientific communities (energy, meteorology, geography, medicine, ecology), and information dissemination (stakeholders involvement, future R&D, communication).

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