Solar Irradiance Forecast with Satellite Data

Weather satellites are used to forecast solar irradiance
© Fraunhofer ISE
Images from weather satellites are used to forecast solar irradiance in combination with weather models and on-site measurements.

For the integration of fluctuating PV generation into the power system, grid and plant operators need high-resolution solar irradiance data. Images from geostationary weather satellites provide an excellent data basis due to their high availability and high resolution. We receive and process satellite images of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania in real time.

We develop methods and operational systems for calculating and forecasting solar irradiance and the resulting PV power generation, both for individual sites and entire grid regions. Using image processing and forecasting algorithms, cloud movements are extrapolated for intraday forecasting of solar irradiance and PV power. We provide high-resolution irradiance maps for upscaling and reliable forecasts of PV power generation to energy utilities and PV system operators.

In addition, we use historical satellite images to determine past radiation time series, for example for solar potential analyses and site assessments for PV plant construction. Reliable assessments are economically crucial, especially for investors.

Benefits of satellite-based solar radiation data:

  • Time resolution: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Spatial resolution: 1 to 5 km depending on the location, (approx. 2 km in Germany)
  • High availability in near real time
  • No on-site installations required

Our Services:

  • Intraday solar irradiance forecasts
  • Data provided in real time
  • Forecasts for individual sites or entire grids/regions

Forecast Periods

We offer forecasting systems for the following time ranges

Short- and Medium-range Forecasting