Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Solar Story in the Union Tribune

Onell Soto from the San Diego Union Tribune covered the new UCSD solar story about the new MAE project to predict electric ouput from solar installations based on cloud cover.

Read the UT story here.

Read the UCSD story here.

A few sentences from the UT story is below:

Unexpected dips and spikes are difficult to deal with. For example, say all the solar-power systems in a neighborhood get shaded. Somewhere, a power plant has to kick out more juice. Transmission lines have to carry more power.

These things can be done smoothly, imperceptibly even, but it takes planning. That’s where Jan Kleissl’s sky-tracker comes in. The UCSD professor’s camera takes a picture every 30 seconds of a 25-square-mile circle of sky surrounding the university.

Kleissl plans to use $550,000 collected from California electricity customers — along with $137,000 from other sources — to, among other things, build a computer model for predicting where clouds will be up to three hours into the future.

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