This Project enabled the development and integration of the CloudCAM cloud prediction technology with remote, off-grid solar PV power stations.
The project aimed to develop a product that would enable solar farm operators to accurately predict changes in photovoltaic (PV) output due to cloud coverage 1-20 minutes ahead of time. This hardware, along with the software that would enable the interpretation of images, was known as ‘CloudCAM’, with two systems proposed to be developed. ‘CloudCAM Optical’ uses a fisheye lens that takes images of the whole sky, while ‘CloudCAM Advanced’ envisages the development of novel technology to further analyse cloud systems moving over the solar PV power stations. This novel technology enables the identification of cloud height, which in turn would allow for an increase in accuracy of the prediction for short term PV output. The overall aim of the development of the CloudCAM technology was to provide sufficient accuracy to enable power generation control systems to respond ahead of time to upcoming drops in PV due to cloud shadow.