Large solar energy projects (usually to supply electricity to utilities) cost millions and their economic profitability must be carefully established, along with risk factors due to the variability of the solar resource and other factors. The design process and financial projections of such projects must therefore rely on high-quality solar resource data. These are known as "bankable data". There is now a variety of free or commercial sources providing solar radiation data. Comparative studies show that differences of up to 20-50% may exist between different sources of data for any potential site, particularly for direct normal irradiance (DNI), which is the unique resource for concentrating power plants. System designers and promoters therefore have the delicate responsibility of choosing the most appropriate source of data for their project.
Based on our considerable expertise in solar radiation measurement and modeling, we can offer confidential advice on which satellite-based data source would be most appropriate for any specific project, anywhere in the world, and obtain them at the best price. We can also provide bankable data within objectively evaluated confidence limits, including long-term variability and risk factors.
If such a resource assessment has already been done, we can provide independent expert advice to engineering companies or financial institutions regarding the claimed accuracies of solar resource estimates.
Most important solar projects require precise solar radiation and meteorological measurements at the site under scrutiny, during at least six months or one year. We can select the most qualified service provider at the best price for our clients, and for deployment in any area of the world.
In the case when such locally measured radiation data have already been obtained, our expertise in experimental data analysis can best serve clients who wish to evaluate their resource over extended periods into the future, using well-accepted correction and extrapolation methods.
Besides our professional consulting services related to solar resource assessment, atmospheric data analysis, and reference spectra production, Solar Consulting Services can set up custom workshops (for scientists, engineers, metrologists, or architects) on specific subjects, e.g., the tailored use of SMARTS in relation with the testing of products or the degradation of materials, or optimal measurement and analysis of solar radiation data.
Our clients include:
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
- National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
- Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)
- American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
- National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
- Atlas Corporation
- GARD Analytics
- Numerical Logics
- Sunborne Energy
- Kyoto Energy
- Emcore Corp.
- Neo Virtus Engineering