Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Modelling solar radiation for PV optimisation

Abstract : A strong development of the solar energy sector is expected for the coming years inFrance and around the world. An accurate prediction of the amount of solar irradiancereaching the ground is necessary to optimize the performance of photovoltaic (PV) farms and to forecast the production at different time scales. However, the amount of solar irradiance reaching the ground is influenced by different geographical, meteorological and atmospheric parameters, including the characteristics of clouds and aerosols. The objective of this thesis is to improve the modeling of solar irradiation, by focusing on the impact of clouds and aerosols.Improvements have been made to the standalone 1D irradiance model of the CFD software code_saturne. The model now estimates the total solar irradiance and its direct and diffuse components taking into account clouds, aerosols and absorption by minor gases. Simulations are conducted and compared to measurements at the French SIRTA observatory (instrumental site for atmospheric remote sensing research), located in Palaiseau, Ile-de-France.Satisfactory results are obtained during clear-sky days when considering the impact ofaerosols which optical properties are estimated by coupling our model to the Polyphemus platform. Clouds have a strong influence on the amount of solar irradiance reaching the ground, they have large spatio-temporal variations and are difficult to model. The estimation of irradiance during cloudy-sky days is improved by coupling the model to on-site measurements of cloud parameters (cloud optical thickness, cloud fraction) from the SIRTA observatory. A sensitivity analysis on the cloud parameters is performed in order to better understand and quantify the influence of these parameters on the simulated irradiance (globaland direct), and to identify the data sources that minimize the prediction error. Moreover, hourly values of solar fluxes are analyzed to determine and physically understand the causes of the largest errors between model and measurements when measured cloud parameters are used. The second part of the thesis consisted in applying and validating the model on a well-documented case of a radiative fog at the SIRTA (ParisFog campaign), where the fog evolves into a low stratus cloud. Special attention is given to the impact of aerosols concentration and of the presence of black carbon in cloud droplets on the dissipation of the fog as well as the hypothesis used for the cloud fraction. In the third part, further improvements are implemented in the 3D irradiation scheme in order to take into account the aerosols and clouds and for its application to PV farms. This 3D model is applied to a case of interaction with an obstacle, and results are compared to those obtained with the 1D scheme.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : ABES STAR :  Contact
Submitted on : Monday, April 11, 2022 - 11:42:08 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 10:26:13 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 6:22:35 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03636889, version 1



Lea Al Asmar. Modelling solar radiation for PV optimisation. Environmental Engineering. École des Ponts ParisTech, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021ENPC0034⟩. ⟨tel-03636889⟩



Record views


Files downloads