Rooftop Solar Forecasting for One or Many Thousands of PV Sites

04 February 2019

Solar power forecasting for rooftops - just one, or thousands

The most rapidly growing segment of the solar market globally is the small and medium scale solar PV installations appearing on rooftops all around the world. Their scalability leads to wide appeal, starting as small as a just a few solar panels (1 kW), to very large multi-roof projects on industrial buildings which comprise 10,000s of panels, sometimes exceeding 1MW in size. This makes it easy for investors of all sizes to fuel rapid growth in this market segment, but it also leads to high levels of complexity in the actual installations themselves. Rooftop solar installations are often split amongst several arrays, have widely varying orientations, are often shaded, can be dirty and also experience different rates of degradation.

Rooftop solar is complex! But we've made it simple

We have designed our rooftop solar product offering with these challenges in mind. We offer a simple PV power conversion model, which connects our global, rapid-update cloud nowcasting system with the location and installed capacity of the target PV system. We then generate an estimate of the future power output of each site, which you can instantly access via our API (including the ability to specify tilt, azimuth and a loss factor).

Use our PV Tuning Technology

2021 Update - Please note that our PV Tuning technology has been decommissioned - read more here

From there, we offer users to the ability to share the actual power output from their PV system back to Solcast, in order to offer substantial improvements in the forecast. By sharing your actual power output data, we are able to appropriately capture the impacts of the complexity facing each PV system in your portfolio. Solcast uses your actual PV data combined with our proprietary tuning algorithms to detect and model impacts such as shading or losses.

Rooftop Solar Forecast.png

Rooftop solar forecasting for a 50kW PV system with live POSTing of solar PV measurements to the Solcast API. Tuned forecasts are shown in grey, with actual measurements in orange.

You can get started using this feature with the provision of an extract of historical power output data from your site (with as little as three months of data or as much as 12 months). Or, use the power of our API services and automate a POST command of your PV measurement data back to our API service.

Rooftop Solar Forecasting for one or many thousands of PV sites!”

Whether you have a handful of PV sites of interest or are managing a large portfolio of sites, the Rooftop Solar Forecast product was designed with scale in mind. You can trial our forecasts free for your own rooftop test site now, using the Solcast API. The data is available in CSV, JSON or XML formats. HTML table and graph views are also available for inspection. The forecasts update every 10 or 15 minutes and extend to 7 days ahead. At this time, this product offering is limited to 30-minute granularity (Want this to change? Let us know!)

Get started with a FREE trial!

You can get started now (have you signed up for our API?) by adding your site location, a name and a few basic details about its technical specifications. Within minutes, we’ll have your forecasting tools ready for use with little hassle and no upfront costs to trial. Once your rooftop site is set up in our system, you can take advantage of our proprietary tuning algorithms to improve your forecasts by sending us measurements via our API.

Are you a hobbyist developing some cool technology at home? If so, we'll offer you a free forecast for your home, contact us to talk about the details.

Dr. Nick Engerer

Dr. Nick Engerer

Solcast Co-founder • Author

Nick is an expert in the field of solar radiation and distributed solar PV modelling, and has co-founded Solcast out of a sincere desire to enable others to build the solar-powered future.

Read more about Dr. Engerer's scientific papers

Solar Power Forecasting