Clouds annoying for photovoltaics

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently published a study on the effects of coverage by clouds on photovoltaic systems.

The NREL is one of 10 laboratories supported by 'U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science, and is the only laboratory that invests in research, development, marketing and distribution of solar energy and technologies to maximize energy efficiency.

The NREL data stem from a study carried out in two time periods in a year of 17 solar panels installed on the island of Oahu, in the vicinity of the 'International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This photovoltaic system is a powerful resource because it allows us to study and understand the weaknesses of the production of solar energy.

Photovoltaic energy is one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy, solar panels prices are falling and it is also one of the cheapest forms of energy, some producers are selling at a price of $ 1 per watt.

Unfortunately, the production of photovoltaic energy is not constant and is highly dependent on climatic conditions, besides the fact that no energy is produced during the hours of darkness and photovoltaic modules react quickly to changes in the intensity of sunlight.

These are the hours of darkness, but scientists using data from this study may provide an extremely useful tool to enable developers and installers of solar panels to optimize the efficiency of solar modules instead given by the intermittent clouds.

It is hoped that solar panels are able to analyze the characteristics of cloud shadows, and a reliable model is able to predict their long-term viability.

A discovery is not so surprising was that the larger systems tend to show a "smoothing" in terms of energy production and because of that, if examined in detail,
can help designers to align the solar panels or connect them in such a way as to mitigate the effect given by the cloud cover.

The data from this study can be used for photovoltaic systems that a capacity for up to 30 mW.

This data can be found at the "Measurement and Instrumentation Data Center" (MIDC) of NREL looking SOLRMAP: Kalaeloa Oahu.

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