Solar Forecasting for Operational Support of SEGS Plants

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper describes the first successful demonstration of quantitative direct normal irradiance (DNI) solar forecasting, for operational support of the SEGS (Solar Electric Generating Systems) plants near Kramer Junction, CA. As such, this effort likely represents the first demonstration of its kind for any solar thermal power plant. Real time, multi-spectral GOES-9 satellite imagery and relatedmeteorological data were utilized for generating one and two day quantitative DNI solar forecasts. In the absence of professional forecasts, SEGS plant operators often resort to the use of climatology and persistence for generating DNI solar forecasts. Analysis of 6 months of Kramer Junction solar data demonstrates that climatology and persistence produce unreliable solar forecasts, because theyare fundamentally incapable of predicting large day-to-day variations. Accurate, reliable, DNI solar forecasts can increase the annual energy productions of SEGS plants, through more prudent use of the limited natural gas allotment and through improved maintenance planning.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 1997
    Event1997 American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference - Washington, D.C.
    Duration: 25 Apr 199730 Apr 1997


    Conference1997 American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference
    CityWashington, D.C.

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-23309


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