This study proposes a method to remotely determine the Performance Ratio (PR) of solar farms using satellite weather data, without needing ground-based measuring equipment. The accuracy of this method is calculated by using it to estimate the PR of all the NEM-connected solar farms, then comparing it to the PR calculated using site data.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) performance depends on system quality and weather and can be quantified using the performance ratio (PR) calculation. PR is the ratio of the electricity generated to the electricity that would have been generated if the plant consistently converted sunlight to electricity at the level expected from the DC nameplate rating.
PR measurements at solar farms typically use high accuracy ground station irradiance and temperature measurements to calculate the performance of a solar farm given the observed weather conditions. The reliance on privately-owned high-quality ground station data means that; performance data for solar farms is temporally and spatially scarce, is expensive to maintain, and remains unavailable to the public. Without this data, it is impossible to compare performance between projects or benchmark the performance of solar farms operating in a particular market.