Resource Applications Division Covers RD&D at SOLAR 2014

By Jan Kleissl, Justin Robinson, Manajit Sengupta and Frank Vignola

The mission of the ASES Resource Applications Division (RAD) is the development, acquisition and forecasting of solar radiation resources and dissemination to the end user.

RAD is setting its sights on the ASES National Solar Conference, SOLAR 2014, held July 6-10 in San Francis- co. As always we have an attractive program representing the top national research, development and demonstration (RD&D) and commercialization activities. Forty-six abstracts were submitted and 41 were selected for oral presentations. Seven sessions with technical presentations are scheduled in several tracks on “Solar Resources Characterization” (“Data Advances” and “Instrumentation and Uncertainty”), “Solar Forecasting” (“Methodological Advances” and “Applications”), “Solar Resource Applications” (one general session and one session on “GIS and Shading”) and “Solar Variability.” 

Of special note is the forum on “The State of Solar Energy Resource Assessment” on July 8 at 9:00 a.m. The requirements for quality and quantity of solar resource data are rapidly increasing. Four experts will be presenting and taking questions: Justin Robinson from Ground- works, Manajit Sengupta from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Frank Vignola from the University of Oregon and Luminate and Jan Kleissl from the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego). Robinson will target some of the more sophisti- cated resources assessment standards, specifications and requirements (e.g., as issued by Southern California Edison, California ISO and ASTM). Hardware configurations, system integration and placements will be covered. Vignola will discuss bankability challenges and solutions for solar resource data for project financing.

Sengupta will cover NREL-funded research on solar measurement and modeling. This will include an overview of current research to reduce measurement uncertainty through calibration improvements as well as the development of ASTM standards for use by the community. Also discussed will be the current research on new satellite-based methods to create public solar resource datasets.

Kleissl will present new sensor developments and applications such as the cloud speed sensor and the UC San Diego sky imager. The sky imager contains a high dynamic range camera and post-processing algorithm that allows quantifying brightness changes from dark clouds/clear sky to the solar region, and it has been tested for several years in different climates. The cloud speed sensor derives the kinematics of cloud shadows from temporal differences in shading of multiple sensors arranged in a semicircle. Cloud speeds are useful for short-term forecasting and variability assessment.

Jan Kleissl, Justin Robinson, Manajit Sengupta and Frank Vignola are members of the ASES Resource Applications Division. Learn more about ASES Technical Divisions at