SolaRes: Solar Resources estimates

An operational Service
SolaRes is an operational service providing solar resource estimates worldwide for the needs of solar plant operators and developers. It provides near real time estimates and historical archives. It can be applied for any technology of solar power collection, photovoltaic (PV) or concentrated solar plants (CSP). SolaRes takes into account all physical processes of absorption, scattering, and reflection by all components of the Earth-atmosphere system: clouds, aerosols, all absorbing gases (water vapor, ozone, ...) and surfaces. The input data are global satellite and simulation data, without a priori use of in-situ data for recalibration purposes. HYGEOS can provide the solar radiation parameters necessary for planning and monitoring productivity by photovoltaic and concentrated solar plants, such as:

  • the global horizontal irradiance (GHI),
  • the global tilted irradiance (GTI),
  • the direct normal irradiance (DNI),
  • the slant path attenuation (for tower CSPs),
for any orientation and inclination of the panels, anywhere on the globe, at 1-minute time resolution.

An innovating service
Solar resource estimates by SolaRes are accurate thanks to precise and detailed calculations accounting for all physical processes. Radiative transfer is calculated with the state-of-the-art physical Monte Carlo method implemented in the SMART-G software. Calculations are fast thanks to a massive computing parallelisation with an original use of graphic cards. SMART-G allows to compute accurately solar radiation incident on a plane of array with any inclination and orientation angle, without needing parameterisation increasing the uncertainty. SMART-G is published in a peer reviewed international scientific journal.

SolaRes added value

  • 20 years of HYGEOS expertise in radiative transfer modelling, and Earth observation data anlysis
  • More precise calculations than those based on look-up tables and subsequent interpolations
  • Capacitiy to account for various geometries of solar panels (inclination, shadows, ...)
  • Homogeneity, in time and space, of SolaRes datasets
  • high spectral and temporal resolutions

SolaRes performance
A scientific report written at the occasion of a Challenge organised by TotalEnergies between several solar resource providers shows that SolaRes has already reached a top level accuracy at international scale.

Contact at Hygeos: Thierry Elias