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Solar forecasting trial underway for Ubi

Solar forecasting trial underway for Ubi

Mondo is currently testing solar forecasting to support smarter system decisions for customers with batteries. Cloudy day tomorrow? Ubi could charge your battery using either solar or off-peak grid power.

The trial has been running for the last couple of months using data provided and analysed by Proa Analytics – leading experts in weather intelligence. Proa uses cutting-edge, infra-red satellite technology to provide accurate weather forecasts from 30 seconds up to 7 days ahead.

At this early stage, Mondo seeks to understand how such forecasting could save customers money by using their energy more efficiently (both residential and commercial) and how certain charging and discharging actions might relieve voltage pressure on the network.

“Understanding tomorrow’s weather allows you to make smarter decisions about your energy today,” said Dominic Toffolon, Product Manager for Distributed Energy Services, Mondo. “This trial is really about testing and implementing forecast data and determining whether or not it could provide significant value to customers, both behind and in front of the meter.”

Kirstie Wu, Solutions Architect, Mondo, added, “It is anticipated that in order to provide new DER (Distributed Energy Resources) market services the use of self-forecasting systems will be essential for reducing generation forecast error. Information that is delivered 24 hours in advance will allow us to better predict the output from a virtual power plant portfolio.”

The results are yet to be seen, but weather forecasting, combined with Mondo Ubi smarts, could offer customers:

  • Efficient battery control e.g. pre-charge during off-peak tariff times if a poor solar generation day is forecast
  • Adjusting consumption patterns to make use of forecast high generation days
  • Energy charge estimate notifications of next-day charges
  • Maximise BTM generation of export-limited sites
  • Identify underperforming systems
  • Notify communities of “green hours” – when a community is collectively generating surplus solar energy

The next stage of the trial involves a Proa Skycam, pictured below, deployed at a customer site in Yackandandah (thanks for looking after it for us!). This mobile unit, which is utilised on solar and wind farms, provides another layer of accuracy via geographic-specific data and will assist in the cost-benefit analysis of gathering hourly vs daily vs weekly forecast data. 

 

Matthew Charles-Jones (left), Community Energy Partner at Mondo, poses with our friendly Skycam host in Yackandandah

 

View from the Skycam camera which will monitor local weather patterns

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