Australia leads the world in the uptake of rooftop solar (PV). As the proportion of energy from PV increases, a point is reached where the natural fluctuation of the output, due to both intermittent and sustained cloud cover, can cause problems on the local distribution network connected to the PV.
Australia leads the world in the uptake of rooftop solar (PV). As the proportion of energy from PV increases, a point is reached where the natural fluctuation of the output, due to both intermittent and sustained cloud cover, can cause problems on the local distribution network that the PV is connected to.
Most rooftop PV installations in Australia are connected to the site on the load side of the electricity meter, and are ‘net metered’. Under net metering only the net amount of electricity exported to the grid is measured; the amount of energy produced by the PV system is not measured.
The Australian National University (ANU) with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and involvement of most of Australia’s electricity distribution network service providers (DNSPs), have deployed an operational framework for the prediction of power output from solar PV, which groups total power generation according to low voltage network assets (e.g. zone substations) (the project). This operational framework combines solar PV installation data (locations, capacities), along with electrical network information (which zone substation or feeder line the PV site is connected to) that is provided by the DNSP partners, to make near-term predictions of the power output from those PV systems.
Forecasts are created by operational solar forecasting systems developed and maintained by commercial entity Solcast (Solar & Storage Modelling Pty Ltd). Solcast is a partner in the ANU project and has been engaged to provide global coverage of rapid update solar forecasting technologies, which detect, track and predict the future positions of cloud cover through the use of weather satellites and numerical weather models. In the Australian ] region, services for cloud cover imagery are provided by the Himawari 8 satellite. Solcast provides forecasts of PV power output through solar radiation forecasts produced by these operational systems, which are converted to power output predictions via proprietary PV modelling algorithms.