Saturday, February 6, 2010

How do solar panels perform according to solar exposure..

The Australian bureau of Meteorology provides daily solar exposure data on their web site.

This map shows the amount of energy received from the Sun in a given location.

This was very interesting stuff (well, at least for me).

I wrote a little utility to retrieve the data in a form suitable for post-processing in a spreadsheet and for use in my power tracking system .

This utility is available there. It's written in python, run it with --help as an argument to see the various options available.

One direct application, was measuring on how well the CEEG panels I have installed performed according to the amount of energy they receive from the sun.

It gave me this graph:

The black line shows the average of Export/Import. Any points above the line means the system performed better than average, any points below the line, mean they performed worse.

A clear trend shows that my system performs really well when there's a lot of sun, but rather poorly in low light conditions.

It's rather a worry, as it means they will likely perform poorly during winter.

Stay in touch!