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Monster turbines, bifacial modules.... what's next?

The renewable energy industry moves at a rapid pace, especially now that onshore wind and solar are the cheapest source of new-build generation for the majority of the planet.

The innovations being made in both turbine and solar module design are impressive and are being mirrored upstream in the resource assessment space.

With hub heights getting taller, swept areas increasing and bifacial solar panels becoming the norm, resource assessment monitoring technology has also adapted and innovated.

“With hub heights getting taller, swept areas increasing and bifacial solar panels becoming the norm, resource assessment monitoring technology has also adapted and innovated.”

Sodar technology has evolved from originally targeting a measurement height of 150m to 200m in recent years. The technology roadmap is on track to extend high data availability to over 300m in the not too distant future.

Similarly, from a solar perspective, resource monitoring stations are now providing far richer data sets than was the norm in years past.

“Similarly, from a solar perspective, resource monitoring stations are providing far richer data sets than was the norm in years past.”

These now commonly including albedo measurement (reflected solar radiation), for projects contemplating the use of bifacial modules, as well as pyrheliometers (direct beam solar irradiance), module temperature sensors and rain sensors.

Soiling Test Stations and even all sky camera systems which detect, identify, track and predict cloud movement are being rolled out on assessment campaigns in some instances.

High speed data loggers that are designed for fully remote operations are connecting and integrating all these sensors, providing high sampling frequencies of all parameters for statistical aggregation to meet these new demands. 

Data acquisition platforms are aggregating all this data, providing intuitive, user friendly and secure online dashboards to view and download in real time. These platforms can often facilitate multiple sites and monitoring locations to be set up allowing for an overview of the performance of each measurement at each location.

As the industry continues to innovate and evolve, so too does resource assessment technology, helping to minimise project risk and maximise investor value. It begs the question, what's next?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Rigling's picture

Thank Simon for the Post!

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Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 15, 2020 11:26 am GMT

Interesting-- so you're suggesting that the greater heights they reach to might not be a challenge but rather an opportunity to collect and use new types of data? If true, that helps flip the script and make the larger installations even more economical!

Julian Jackson's picture
Julian Jackson on Sep 24, 2020 8:51 am GMT

Surely the next step on from vast data acquisition is interpreting it digitally using AI, VR, Machine Learning, etc, to improve productivity and efficiency, not to mention reduce costs of O & M, for example, by using predictive maintenance rather than scheduled. We need to make optimum use of existing assets, I suggest.

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