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Optimization of Photovoltaic Power Generation using a Measurement and Management Technology (MMT) Platform
Keywords: photovoltaics, solar panels, energy efficiency
Despite continuous improvement in photovoltaic (PV) systems, the generated power of many installations is underperforming due to factors like: light obstruction, orientation and tilt of solar panels, variation in manufacturing and installation process, surface debris or surface soiling on the solar panels. Another factor that can affect the performance of PV system is the intermittent or the extended cloud coverage due to weather conditions that generate an uneven power performance. To overcome the above challenges, we leverage the capabilities of an energy management analytic platform to monitor in real time the power generation from solar panels under real operating conditions. The generated solar panel power is correlated with predictive weather models where the influence of sky coverage, temperature and opacity of air quality are integrated in physical models to predict the solar panel performance. Furthermore, it is recognized that in large scale photovoltaics system, the generated power is dependent on the performance of individual cells and banks of cells on individual solar panels. Analyzing spatial and temporal trends of individual solar panels and combining it with real time power performance data, will enable an increased visibility in the PV system performance while enhancing optimization through power management of individual solar panel of the macroscopic PV system. We will show data to corroborate the above conditions and discuss future trends in large scale PV deployment and operation.
Levente J. Klein, Research Staff Member
IBM TJ Watson Research Center
Yorktown Heights, NY

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