Polaris is a highly accurate simulation tool for the prediction, control and optimisation of utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants which can enhance their development and operation.
New and innovative aspects
Polaris is a highly accurate simulation tool for the prediction, control and optimisation of utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants which can enhance their development and operation. Solar farms have become more complex as they increase in size, covering areas with multiple distinct weather zones, and using multiple different solar technologies. While tools to support planning have progressed rapidly, there is still a significant shortfall in tools designed to support the operation and maintenance of solar farms and to support the grid authority
Main advantages of its use
Polaris uses advanced features to deliver unprecedented levels of accuracy and functionality:
• Models every cell individually within the farm (millions of cells in larger farms).
• Models all the cell to cell electrical connections.
• Cell shading is accurately modelled.
• Can model complex solar plants with multiple “weather zones” and multiple different renewable energy technologies (e.g. different PV, CPV, wind, solar thermal, etc).
• Specially purposed algorithms allow the system to learn the response of each individual cell delivering more accurate predictions and trend analysis for early fault prediction and detection.
• Energy yield, fault & shading analysis, and economic modelling features allow the user to carry out feasibility analysis.
• Fault/Shading detection and supply-side smoothing/bid prediction features may be incorporated into automated systems with sensor readings, simulations and energy calculations in realtime.
• Polaris is command line driven so that it can be incorporated into other (automated) systems, delivering flexibility
Polaris addresses some of the key challenges and uncertainties currently experienced by both solar farm and solar grid operators. Through simulation, highly accurate predictions can be achieved for PV farms in terms of their power output, including fluctuations caused by changing weather conditions. The energy yield predictions can be used to independently validate the performance of PV Systems. Polaris is based on an extensive simulation model. Using a purpose built algorithm, Polaris can perform a variety of monitoring and control functions. These include calculation of PV power plant energy yield and independent performance validation; measurement of shading and fault effects on energy yields; economic feasibility modelling; fault detection and analysis; and supply-side energy smoothing across multiple PV power plants.
Polaris has been developed to support the needs of solar farm Designers, Planners, Developers, Operators, as well as the Grid Operators. Key functions include:
• Design and planning – Accurate farm modelling and projected power calculations.
• Commissioning – Actual power versus predicted power analysis for commissioning support.
• Operating – Actual power versus predicted power analysis for fault identification and prediction.
• Electricity Sale – Near term precise power output and fluctuation projections for power to grid sales.
Intellectual property status
The modelling algorithms, developed in excel and C+, are protected as secret know-how
Current development status
The technology is capable of demonstration as a simulation tool but further development work may be required to develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) suitable to an end-users needs
Desired business relationship
DIT is currently seeking expressions of interest from software companies interested in licensing the simulator for development as a new software product for the PV market.
Click here to download the Polaris Technology Information Sheet