Predicted direct solar radiation (ECMWF) for optimized operational strategies of linear focus parabolic-trough systems

Lopes, F., R. Conceição, T. Fasquelle, H. G. Silva, R. Salgado, P. Canhoto, M. Collares-Pereira: Predicted direct solar radiation (ECMWF) for optimized operational strategies of linear focusparabolic-trough systems, Renewable Energy.

Day-ahead forecasts of direct normal irradiance (DNI) from the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS), the global model of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), are used to simulate a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant through the System Advisor Model (SAM) to assess the potential value of the IFS in the electricity market. Although DNI forecasting from the IFS still demands advances towards cloud and aerosol representation, present results show substantial improvements with the new operational radiative scheme ecRad (cycle 43R3). A relative difference of approximately 0.12% for the total annual energy availability is found between forecasts and local measurements, while approximately 10.6% is obtained for the previous version. Results of electric energy injection to the grid from a simulated linear focus parabolic-trough system shows correlations coefficients of approximately 0.87 between hourly values of electric energy based on forecasted and measured DNI, while 0.92 are obtained for the daily values. In the context of control strategy, four operational strategies are given for different weather scenarios to handle the energy management of a CSP plant, including the effect of thermal energy storage capacity. Charge and discharge operational strategies are applied accordingly to the predicted energy availability.

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