Solar power generation is significantly influenced by local weather conditions and a proper understanding of these relations is important to ensure that solar energy is a fiscally and environmentally sustainable source of renewable energy. A weather station can be defined as a facility with instruments and equipment, used to make observations of atmospheric conditions to facilitate weather forecasting to study the weather and climate. On-site Meteorological (MET) Stations at a PV-Solar site, provide quality meteorological data that can help measure the amount of solar radiation as it reaches the surface of the PV modules. This helps to analyze and measure what part of solar radiation is converted into electricity for a given module configuration. With real-time data, operators can monitor any decline in power generation that may affect energy output and ROI.
Solar irradiance measurements are helpful in site selection for PV-Solar plants, calculations of efficiency in plant operation, as well as determining possible improvements of power plant setups.
A MET station or Weather Monitoring Station (WMS) is one of the key components in a PV-Solar power plant, and they are crucial in measuring the efficiency and performance of solar PV sites. There have been various sensor configurations used for on-site MET stations. There is no upper limit on how many configurations various sensors can be used for. For larger sites, in addition to full MET stations, a trend of having distributed MET sensors is seen where primarily POAs and BOMs are spread across the site to have as much quality data as possible.