EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

4.11 Summary and Final Tasks


Well, this was the last of our solar learning lessons in the arc of core solar resource assessment content (Lessons 2-4). In Lesson 4, you were introduced to the key elements of the solar resource and the way that we measure or estimate the resource in a given locale for our clients/stakeholders. We built upon our knowledge from Lessons 2 and 3, and even drew from content in a Lesson 3 activity to be applied in a Lesson 4 activity.

We had a detailed reading on Best Practices for Solar Collection and Use to start, which provided us with a surprising amount of information for both CSP and non-CSP practices too. There were elements in the reading that stressed the importance in finding the appropriate data set for the function in question within a SECS development plan. Solar resources are important to residential and commercial buildings, as well as to PV arrays, as well as to utility scale CSP and solar hot water or steam applications. Your job is to be aware of the type of data you use, to know the transformations that are done to the data to turn it into a useful input (for simulation), and to develop levels of confidence in using various qualities of data as a practitioner.

Now that you have completed the lesson, you should be able to:

  • explain why the human eye is a poor solar detector and creates bias in decision making
  • describe the equipment used to measure irradiance and irradiation in the field and from space;
  • contrast collecting data for horizontal irradiance and DNI with (Plane of Array) POA measurements;
  • describe the meaning of a component of light, and list the components for anisotropic skies on a tilted surface;
  • explain scenarios where direct POA (Plane of Array) measurement is not available and one must use empirical correlations (via clearness indices) to estimate irradiation on a horizontal surface;
  • understand and be able to apply typical meteorologic year (tmy) data to energy system simulations.

You can always go back to these readings and dig into the references. There is now extensive documentation to guide you in your practical development; you just need to reach out and read it!

Reminder - Complete all of the Lesson 4 tasks!

You have reached the end of Lesson 4! Double-check the to-do list on the Lesson 4 Learning Outcomes page to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Lesson 5. (To access Lesson 5, use the link in the "Course Outline" menu.)