Understanding the solar resource available at a project location as well as other meteorological characteristics of a site are extremely important to solar energy project development. A well designed and managed on-site solar resource assessment campaign will produce data that allows a developer to evaluate the risks associated with a power purchase agreement and help build their case for financial investment in a project.
Long-term solar data sets are often available in the general vicinity of a potential project area, but rarely on-site. As more and more utility scale solar projects have been built and studied, biases in these long-term data sets have been discovered that have been shown to reduce their accuracy. Due to this, and the higher uncertainty that results from these biases, a higher reliance on on-site meteorological measurement has emerged. This move toward more on-site measurements has also been driven by the increasing size of solar projects. The larger the size of a project, the larger the consequences for any uncertainty in the solar resource available and the effect that has on overall energy production and plant design.
Harness Energy understands the best practices surrounding solar station installation and design. The type of technology (PV or solar thermal, for example) that will ultimately be utilized for the solar plant dictates the type of solar measurement that is used in the solar resource assessment campaign. Project developers should work with an experienced meteorologist or consultant to tailor a design that suits their specific project location and goals. Whatever those goals are, and whatever the approach, Harness Energy is equipped with the knowledge and experience to install and service a variety of on-site solar resource assessment stations in any location.
Station security and maintenance program design and execution are arguably the most difficult aspects of operating a successful solar resource assessment campaign. At Harness Energy, we provide the following in our Solar Resource Assessment program:
• Design cost-effective security features at each measurement station that help to protect the investment of our clients.
• Calibrate all equipment properly
• Ensure maintenance protocols are followed in a repeatable manner, including the following: sensor cleaning and leveling, photographic documentation of site conditions, and general examination of the site and meteorological conditions
Harness Energy understands that strict adherence to well-designed solar measurement maintenance programs directly translates to greater data recovery and reduced uncertainty, and therefore more valuable and better performing projects for our clients.