City-wide simulations of distributed photovoltaic power production

Presented by ANU College of Health & Medicine

The 4GW of solar energy installations in Australia are dominated by small-scale photovoltaic arrays, with average system sizes of 1.5kW in 2011, growing to 4.5kW by the end of 2014. With the continuing rapid pace of installations nationwide, providing estimates of the current and future power output of these systems is becoming more crucial.

Nicholas’ thesis project has focused on providing a simulation system capable of producing such estimates. To accomplish this, he has developed a methodology for using a selection of monitored PV systems to produce estimates of the power output from non-monitored systems.

Using Canberra as a proof-of-concept, a city-wide simulation of its 12,500+ embedded PV generators is now possible. The seminar will place an emphasis on simulations for critical ramp events, which are situations where the local meteorology causes all of the PV generators in a region to suddenly produce much less or much more power over a short period of time.
About the speaker

Nicholas is an Associate Lecturer at The Fenner School of Environment and Society, and convenes ENVS 2004 Weather, Climate and Fire and EMSC 1006 The Blue Planet. He started his PhD in mid 2011 after moving to Australia from Oklahoma (United States) with his wife Teddi. His research focuses on the intersection between energy and atmospheric science and is well-known for his love of severe weather, his enthusiasm and passion for teaching.

Short title for tweet: City-wide simulations of distributed photovoltaic power production