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Research Papers

Framework for Monitoring and Assessing Small and Medium Solar Energy Plants

[+] Author and Article Information
Ildefonso Martínez Marchena

Dpto. Lenguajes y Ciencias de la Computación,
Universidad de Málaga,
Campus de Teatinos, sn,
Málaga 29071, Spain
e-mail: ilde@lcc.uma.es

Mariano Sidrach-de-Cardona

Professor
Dpto. Física Aplicada II,
Universidad de Málaga,
Campus de Teatinos, sn
Málaga 29071, Spain
e-mail: msidrach@uma.es

Llanos Mora-López

Associate Professor
Dpto. Lenguajes y Ciencias de la Computación,
Universidad de Málaga,
Campus de Teatinos, sn
Málaga 29071, Spain
e-mail: llanos@uma.es

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received May 26, 2014; final manuscript received July 28, 2014; published online September 30, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Santiago Silvestre.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(2), 021007 (Sep 30, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-14-1158; doi: 10.1115/1.4028398 History: Received May 26, 2014; Revised July 28, 2014

The monitoring and assessment of small and medium solar energy plants were ruled out as the existing programs for these tasks are expensive and they are designed to run directly on the installation site, making it necessary to have both a monitoring system, such as data logger, and specialized staff capable of analyzing the monitoring data. To address these problems, this paper presents a framework that allows the development of programs for remote monitoring and automatic evaluation of solar energy plants without using any additional hardware. Software architecture based on separating the software functionalities into several layers and on using a hierarchical model of the plant elements is proposed. This framework allows the integration of different technologies and communication protocols of devices used in solar energy plants. A monitoring and assessing program for several dispersed solar energy installations has been developed as practical example.

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Topics: Solar energy
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Layered software architecture of the proposed framework

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Fig. 2

Hierarchy of the different installation elements

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Fig. 3

OPC devices communication

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Fig. 4

OPC scheme for including assessment models

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Fig. 5

Flowchart for assessing solar energy plants

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Fig. 6

Scheme of a photovoltaic solar energy plant and the proposed monitoring and assessment program

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Fig. 7

Scheme of the developed monitoring and assessment system for 40 photovoltaic solar energy plants

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Fig. 8

Wp and Yf,day for all the installations

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Fig. 9

Daily final yield for five installations in the same location

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Fig. 10

Recorded values of PCA and irradiance for a day with low daily final yield

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Fig. 11

PCA (measured) versus PCA* (estimated). In red circles, the pairs where the installation did not work properly

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