International developers are always looking for an edge that will ensure their projects will not fail. While no such foolproof system exists (or may ever exist), Vaisala may have just added a powerful tool to make solar-project success just a little bit easier.
The company released the results from what it calls the world’s largest insolation validation study, which compares observational data from nearly 200 ground stations across six continents with satellite derived irradiance records. Then, as a third validation, it compared those results with the data it collects for its clients.
Vaisala says the reason for the extensive verification is to keep insolation data around the world as accurate and consistent. If developers can’t trust the irradiation data they receive, it will be more difficult for them to gain funding for projects – especially as the solar industry moves into emerging markets within Asia, Africa and Latin America.
“Vaisala has been working actively within the energy industry since 2009 to quantify and reduce solar-resource uncertainty worldwide,” said Gwendalyn Bender, head of solar services at Vaisala. “Over the years, we have seen how significantly local factors, such as pollution, dust, or seasonal variation, can influence the accuracy of solar resource information – and thus a project’s future solar power generation.”
“These regional differences are often better captured by using a different aerosol or turbidity input or by employing a different irradiance model,” Bender said “By providing multiple, validated datasets that are processed consistently across the globe, our clients can now compare the results to find the solar data source that best fits local conditions.”