Dynamic modeling of solar radiation disturbances based on a biomimetic cloud shading model

[+] Author and Article Information
Jesus Garcia

Department of Mechanical Engineering. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia

Iván D Portnoy

Department of Mechanical Engineering. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia

Ricardo S Vasquez

School of Environment, Science and Engineering. Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, 2480, Australia

Marco E. Sanjuan

Department of Mechanical Engineering. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038961 History: Received March 14, 2017; Revised December 12, 2017


Variation in direct solar radiation is one of the main disturbances that any solar system must handle to maintain efficiency at acceptable levels. As known, solar radiation profiles change due to earth's movements. Even though this change is not manipulable, its behavior is predictable. However, at ground level, direct solar radiation mainly varies due to the effect of clouds, which is a complex phenomenon not easily predictable. In this paper, dynamic solar radiation time series in a $2D$ spatial domain are obtained using a biomimetic cloud-shading model. The model is tuned and compared against available measurement time series. The procedure uses an objective function based on statistical indexes that allow extracting the most important characteristics of an actual set of curves. Then, a multi-objective optimization algorithm finds the tuning parameters of the model that better fit data. The results showed that it is possible to obtain responses similar to real direct solar radiation transients using the biomimetic model, which is useful for other studies such as testing control strategies in solar thermal plants.

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