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UL Research Project: Solar PV Modelling

  • 11-05-2023 7:36pm
    Administrators Posts: 356 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭

    This discussion was created from comments split from: Daily pv production.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 EamonnResearch

    Hi all,

    I'm a PhD researcher in the University of Limerick looking at statistical modelling as applied to renewable energies, in particular solar generation. Some of our goals include building a map of expected energy production and forecasting values from solar panels at a near real-time level that can be provided to the public to better optimise their electricity usage and evaluate the cost benefit analysis of installing solar.

    Most of the work in this space so far has been based on longer term totals or using theoretical weather maps which might not always line up with actual production, so, with your help(!) we're hoping to acquire historical production from households spread around the country and develop preliminary statistical models.

    This post is to just first inquire if people on this forum would be interested in sharing their solar data, say for a year period, suitably anonymised in terms of location by the provider specifying their small area code as opposed to explicit GPS coordinates - I'll later set up consent forms/a facility to send/upload data and related questions.

    (The small areas are used as part of the census statistics and consist of areas of approx. 100 houses. You can find the code for your small area in this link by entering EirCode:

    In return I can share analysis around any patterns/possible issues with your panels, updated national solar maps, explicit estimates based on orientation, as well as a tool to view forecasted production for your homes and preliminary models you can use. I think this would be of interest in particular.

    If you would be interested in taking part in this project please send me a PM on here or to my email ( and I can follow up in the near future with more details. We will gather data such that your email is not linked to your user profile and so your anonymity is assured.

    Some more details on the data (based on one panel) and our approaches are shared here (can't post links yet so remove spaces and brackets )

    Also feel free to fire away with any questions, I see from reading through this forum you've already done a lot of really good analysis, I might add a separate post later for more visibility but thought Id get some feedback here. Also just to add some colour to the post, here's a chart on one household we got.

    Post edited by Jonathan on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭DC999

    Hey. Good to see solar getting your PhD attention, can only be a good thing! I'd be happy to provide you details. PM sent.

    There is publicly available data by month from some of the Boards solar users: - Solar Capacity and production analysis - Google Sheets. The forum mod is @Jonathan so he can let you know if it’s not acceptable to use that data or for you to confirm how it would be anonymised.

    That Google Drive sheet is listed as a source from Interested in Solar PV? Read this FAQ first. — - Now Ye're Talkin'. And do have a look at that page as there are good sources to estimate solar output, some of it might be of interest to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,968 ✭✭✭con747

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 8,120 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jonathan

    I've split this out into its own thread and fixed the hyperlinks.

    Best of luck with the research. Do be sure to report back with your findings, which will no doubt be of interest to the posters here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,996 ✭✭✭jkforde

    Up and running for just over 2yrs now so you can have 2yrs data. I'll just need some guidance in terms of extract\export of the data in the format you need. Best of luck with the PhD. Feel free to PM me.

    🌦️ 6.7kwp, 45°, SSW, mid-Galway 🌦️

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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 5,899 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk

    Yeah I have the data, On a per string basis, How fine a resolution do you want? (I think mine is about every 15 seconds lol)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 EamonnResearch

    Hi All,

    Firstly thanks for everyone who got back to me, I'll get to messaging you individually soon enough, It'll take a bit of time to first just set up a place to easily share and a framework to read it all into the one place but I'll be in touch once I'm ready to collect things/send out surveys

    That's a good question to be honest and ye probably a better idea where the value would lie. So for example in the previous dataset I collected here's 30 second increments vs hourly averages. Now I doubt there's a statistician in the world who could predict those 30 second values, hourly values we probably could get close, Met forecasts are generally on the hour, but interpolating (basically averaging to sub hourly) is a viable option, so I think my goal would be 15 minute or 30 minute forecasts.

    Where I do think though some value in having fine scale data is I could try predict how volatile/spread out it will be (Variance or standard deviation in stats talk). For example I assume there's a difference in how one would go about best managing their power if it was consistently close to the hourly average vs it was fluctuating a lot. For example, take an hour out of the previous day (I added a made up energy consumption). Looking at hourly averages alone we would be at about 85% of our consumption, however 40% of the time we were in excess of that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭DC999

    Some people have analysis that shows the planned output from Met Eireann, and the actual. That data might be of help. They use that to automate the level of battery charge. So expected was 20.4kWh, actual was 18.2 type thing.

    Those won't be very accurate as people have different orientations (S, W, E) and the angle of the panels - and the Met Eireann json output site predicting solar output won't factor that stuff in of course. So people build that % difference into their own calcs, person by person. It's not a centralised formula people are using themselves to get the 'estimated' figure.

    @bullit_dodger does that, as do others. There's an automation thread here and several people are well into that side of it. Not something I have myself. Might be a rabbit hole - but could give you some initial sense of expected V actual if that was helpful.

    There are other solar forecast sources that others would know if are anyway close to accurate.