CER Graduate Seminar Series: A Virtual Sky Imager Testbed for Solar Energy Forecasting

Ben Kurtz, UC San Diego

Tuesday November 17, 11:00am - 12:00pm

EBUII Room 479


Abstract: As solar energy becomes more prevalent on the electric grid, the ability to forecast available solar resource becomes ever more important. Sky imager forecasting uses a ground-based camera (as opposed to satellite) to identify and track individual clouds as they block the sun. Our group at UC San Diego has developed a camera and a methodology for producing these short term forecasts. I will discuss current forecast operations and some new techniques under development: measurement of direct-beam irradiance using only the camera and our new virtual sky imager testbed, which extends our ability to validate our simple, fast forecast by comparing it to advanced physics simulations.


Bio: Ben Kurtz is a PhD student at UC San Diego studying solar forecasting and grid integration of renewable energy. He received a BS in Physics from Caltech in 2011.

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