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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGSO0008
Title Solar PV Monitoring Phase 3
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 May 2018
End Date 01 May 2021
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £690,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , National Grid Electricity Transmission (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , National Grid plc (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_NGSO0008
Objectives Part of the challenges faced are due to the fact that the operational impacts of GB Solar PV generation can only be tackled by using probabilistic approaches that involve innovative sampling, interpolation and upscaling of different data sources – demand out turn, meteorological data and PV generation from many thousands of sites. Instead of direct measurement (typical for centralised generation), statistical, sampled measurement approaches to monitoring PV generation are needed. Such innovative methods will involve algorithms for data sampling, handling, storage, measurement interpolation and aggregation. These techniques will be used during this Phase 3 project as part of the below outlined work packages and respective activities:Work Package A – 5-minutely PV monitoring: In order to achieve a 5-minutely national PV out turn, the project will replicate the same method as used for the 30-minutely forecast and build on the learning from previous innovation projects. The project will aim to process all data available in less than 5 minutes. In order to achieve this, optimisations are anticipated to the systems and infrastructure (e.g. computation, databases and software algorithms) supporting the tools used in the project. In order to measure the accuracy of this new capability we will need to use learning from Work Package D (validation) and utilise one or more additional data sources identified in that work package. Working towards a regional or GSP 5-minutely forecast will require very good knowledge of the local spatial and temporal variations in solar radiation and we will need to build on learning from the Solar Forecasting Phase 2 innovation project (NIA_NGET0183) in order to achieve this. Developing the right approach to spatial (and temporal) interpolation is critical. Kriging and response surfaces are likely to be used further. Underpinning Work Package A is a geographically representative, high quality PV power data feed and accurate capacity data from Work Packages B and C.Work Package B - Capacity estimate: It will be necessary to engage formally with external stakeholders (e.g. OFGEM, BEIS), internal teams at National Grid and private asset owners (through STA and others) to map the UK PV data sources and understand how these data sources are being used in our current capacity estimate methodology. We will also explore the additional sources of data that exist and discuss again with the stakeholders the barriers to accessing these other data sources. This work will result in a set of recommendations for the best approach to estimating capacity using existing system registration data. Furthermore, to improve existing approaches of capacity estimation, it is crucial to research methods for estimating capacity without using registration data i.e. to estimate capacity directly from a combination of PV_Live, demand outturns and meteorological observations. This is important because, although systems may be registered when they are installed, they may not be updated if the system changes, or they may not be de-registered when they are un-installed or stop working due to failure. With the potential removal of tariffs and incentives we expect to see an increase in systems being installed without any form of registration.Work Package C – Sensitivity and resilience of Data Feeds: The monitoring and forecasting of PV power depends on the availability of PV data consisting of both a geographical distribution of installed systemsacross GB and the size of systems being monitored. The Solar PV Monitoring Phase 2 project strived to maximise this spread. However, it did not seek representation from different system sizes or from ground and roof-mounted systems. This project work package will involve engagement with solar farm asset owners such that we can secure a significant and geographically diverse data feed from solar farms to complement the current data from small roof mounted systems. This will then allow the possibility to fully measure the impact of system size, local mounting (roof or ground) and ownership by running our current (PV_Live) and future (PV_5-minutely) algorithms on different ensembles of data feeds. This information will enable the System Operator to make more informed decisions regarding future data supply contracts.Work Package D – Validation of PV outturn:Currently there is no proven method to validate the nationally or regionally aggregated PV outturn. Validation must make use of additional data sources that are statistically linked to the PV power – in particular the net demand seen at each GSP location. This work package will first investigate the use of data sources that could be used to develop a method to independently evaluate the accuracy of both PV_Live and PV_5-minutely services. National Grids demand data, the Distributor Network Operators (DNOs) measurements of embedded generation (made available via Electralink) and meteorological measurement all have statistical relationships with the PV outturn and could theoretically be used in the work planned for this work package. We need to systematically investigate the correlations of these different data sources, develop a validation methodology and test this during the project. This project will focus on addressing several key challenges identified in monitoring solar PV generation and its operational impacts on the GB ET system.This project will build on methods and approaches for estimating PV generation and data provision to develop, test and validate the capabilities of a proof of concept system which would be suitable for integration and use within the System Operators forecasting and control room operations. The Solar PV Monitoring Phase 3 innovation project aims to investigate novel methods for monitoring PV generation on the GB electricity system to support control room operations and decision-making. The project will run over a period of three years with the following key objectives targeted through delivery of its four work packages: Develop and validate a prototype 5-minutely national (GB scale) PV generation forecast Develop and validate a prototype 5-minutely regional (GSP scale) PV generation forecast Identify relevant and suitable national PV data sources/feeds to use in defining optimum approaches to extract PV capacity estimate directly from such PV feeds. Investigate suitable methods to estimate PV capacity directly from a combination of PV_Live, demand outturns and meteorological observations instead of the current method which relies primarily on PV installation registration data. Further refine existing methods of capacity determination. Evaluate the resilience of PV data feeds used and the sensitivity of the accuracy of the PV_30-minutely and PV_5-minutely monitoring prototypes to geographic distribution, mix of system sizes and mix of rooftop or ground-mount. Devise and test suitable validation methodologies for validating the nationally and regional aggregated PV outturn.
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Final Report (none)
Added to Database 09/11/22