The Predicting Cloud Movements to Maximise Solar PV Use project involves the development and demonstration of a sophisticated cloud tracking solution. Fulcrum3D’s ‘CloudCAM’ technology is expected to perform better than existing optical sky cameras in identifying cloud height and separating out layered clouds.
The Predicting Cloud Movements to Maximise Solar PV Use Project enabled the development and integration of the CloudCAM cloud prediction technology with remote, off-grid solar PV power stations. This enabled operators to accurately predict changes in photovoltaic (PV) output due to cloud coverage in the near term.
This ability resulted in an increase in revenue for the solar power stations due to a reduced reliance on the batteries that were previously used to manage solar variance and a greater solar power level due to the higher confidence in consistent short term PV output.
Fulcrum3D’s approach combines fit-for-purpose camera hardware with specialised algorithms to predict changes in PV energy output using cloud characteristics and velocities. Effectively predicting solar PV output means diesel generators can be switched on before production drops, smoothing energy delivery and potentially allowing more solar to be used.
The technology will be tested at the 1 MW Uterne solar PV plant in Alice Springs with the aim of moving it from development stage to pilot scale demonstration.