We are testing a new sky sensor for predicting sunlight

News, 28/05/2020

The University Center for Energy Efficient Buildings of CTU has developed a sky sensor, which is currently being tested for resistance to the outdoor environment. After the tests are completed, the sensor is expected to be used to predict sunlight, which enables better management of the energy obtained by photovoltaic sources from the sun.

The Photovoltaic Systems and Energetics Laboratory of the Czech Technical University UCEEB develops its own hardware and software tools for predicting sunlight. One of them is the new sensor, which stands out especially for its compact dimensions, easy installation, relatively low price, power supply via a data network cable (without the need to supply power to the device with another separate cable) and high-quality operating software enabling scanning in 10-second intervals.

The existing method of ground-based sky sensing provides an accurate prediction of sunlight only in the short time horizon limited by the panoramic camera's field of view. This can be overcome by deploying multiple cameras with an overlapping field of view. We are now collecting experimental data from them for the use of this promising technology in cloud modeling and subsequent irradiance prediction. We are also experimenting with sensing the sky outside the range of the visible spectrum, which should improve the estimation of cloud optical density.