Design, procurement, supply, installation and commission of two Solar Data Monitoring Stations along with the weather monitoring stations, inverters and IV Tracers. This also included the development of a cloud-based data analytics platform for the presentation and analysis of data.
K•A•CARE is an independent organization established by the Royal Order of Saudi Arabia in April 2010. It is responsible for the development of renewable energy programs in Saudi Arabia.
There was a requirement to design and build two solar monitoring stations. This was done to study the performance of five major PV Technologies exposed to two environments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
One station is located near the humid city of Dammam, whereas the other station is in Riyadh, a city which experiences a dry climate. K•A•CARE required a system which could fetch data from these stations and transfer it to a cloud system for observation and further analysis.
System Description: Data Monitoring Station
The project used the following technologies to set up the Solar PV Station:
- Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer (HIT)
- Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)
- Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS)
The output from the evaluation sites is taken by the individual grid-connected inverters and is then transferred to the grid using an inverter combiner box. This also measures the surface temperature. The inverter data and surface temperature are sent to the Data Acquisition System(DAS).
Data is transferred from the five modules(one for each technology) located at both stations. This data is then analyzed using five IV tracers connected to an IV Gateway through wireless communication.
The sensors used are:
- Ambient Temperature and Humidity sensors
- Wind Speed and Wind Direction sensors
- Pyranometers to measure Global Horizontal Irradiance
- A plane of Array Irradiance and Site Albedo
- UV Irradiance sensor
- A Barometric Pressure sensor
- Pyrgeometer to calculate Sky Temperature
- Module Temperature sensors
The data from the sensors are collected by a data gateway through an analog input module and processor. A modular industrial gateway is used to establish a connection between the DAS system at the site and the cloud service.
A detailed performance study and analysis of each PV technology can be done in both Humid and Dry conditions. The result is a visual representation of real time data and trends. The time is synchronized which results in high performance and scalable architecture. Data is secured using encryption and sata archives are available for easy retrieval of past data.