Monitoring PV asset performance with satellite irradiance

17 May 2021

Global installed solar energy capacity is set to rocket past 1 Terawatt sometime next year. Who runs the monitoring and data analytics to check the performance of all these solar assets? And what irradiance data do they use to know what an asset should have produced?

Larger assets have sensors to measure irradiance for use in performance monitoring, however these are prone to faults, gaps and calibration issues. Smaller pv systems usually have no irradiance measurements at all, or none with telemetry.


This is why many O&Ms and monitoring/analytics companies are using satellite-derived irradiance data, at increasing scale. This plot is extracted from some nice comparative analysis conducted by one of these companies using sites where they do have sensors.

If you're looking at using Solcast for monitoring and analytics, you may want to:

James Luffman

James Luffman

Solcast CEO • Author

James is a former operational meteorologist, and has worked as a senior manager in the weather industry. James has designed, built and operated real-time modelling systems for industrial applications, bringing key expertise to the deployment of our operational products and services.

James sees the integration of increasing solar and storage as a singularly critical technology challenge of the next 10 years.