Measurement and Modeling of Solar and PV Output Variability

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


This paper seeks to understand what temporal and spatial scales of variability in global horizontal radiation are important to a PV plants and what measurements are needed to be able to characterize them. As solar radiation measuring instruments are point receivers it is important to understand how those measurements translate to energy received over a larger spatial extent. Also of importance is the temporal natural of variability over large spatial areas. In this research we use high temporal and spatial resolution measurements from multiple sensors at a site in Hawaii to create solar radiation fields at various spatial and temporal scales. Five interpolation schemes were considered and the high resolution solar fields were converted to power production for a PV power plant. It was found that the interpolation schemes are robust and create ramp distributions close to what would be computed if the average solar radiation field was used. We also investigated the possibility of using time averaged solar data from 1 sensor to recreate the ramp distribution from the 17 sensors. It was found that the ramping distribution from using appropriately time averaged data from 1 sensor can reasonably match the distribution created using the 17 sensor network.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2011
Event40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011 - Raleigh, NC, United States
Duration: 17 May 201120 May 2011


Conference40th ASES National Solar Conference 2011, SOLAR 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh, NC

Bibliographical note

See CP-5500-51105 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-57013


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