Method for monitoring performance of solar photovoltaic systems by using real-time solar radiation data
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A method of monitoring performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by using real-time solar radiation data is examined. Actual power production can be compared to the amount of actual solar radiation data that is incident on a solar PV system during the same time period. Actual solar radiation data is available in areas such as Austin, TX where there are solar radiation monitoring stations like those stationed at the University of Texas. Point-by-point calculations take into account the varying solar angles throughout the day to accurately determine the amount of solar radiation incident on the panels. This comparison can show whether the systems are running at peak efficiency. This is critical since solar PV is not yet economically viable, even with government subsidies.
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