Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Dale Dolan

Abstract

As the ‘green’ energy movement continues to gain momentum, photovoltaic generation is becoming an increasingly popular source for new power generation. The primary focus of this paper is to demonstrate the benefits of close-to real-time cloud sensing for Photovoltaic generation. In order to benefit from this close-to real-time data, a source of cloud cover information is necessary. This paper looks into the potential of point insolation sensors to determine overhead cloud coverage. A look into design considerations and economic challenges of implementing such a monitoring system is included. The benefits of cloud location sensing are examined using computer simulations to target important time-scales and options available to plant operators. Finally, the economics of advanced forecasting options will be examined in order to determine the benefit to plant operators.

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