Published: Jan. 1, 2010 By

In recent decades, solar power has become increasingly more efficient and wide-spread in its use, particularly in residential applications. To allow residential solar power to continue its growth and become a larger percentage of energy production in the United States, the issues of solar intermittency must be understood. This project builds upon previous research in this field by analyzing 1-second solar irradiation data gathered over 5 months by a unique array of 8 sites around the campus of UC San Diego. Correlations between the sites in both time and space, stratification of days by cloudiness, and ramp rate analysis are used to examine the variability of the solar power produced at the sites, while an aggregate ramp rate analysis is used to draw conclusions about the character of the net power produced from a distributed array of solar sites. These analyses have shown important characteristics of residential solar power generation that were previously not well described in the literature.

Harper, J. P. (2010). Statistical analysis of solar irradiation in a distributed microgrid. University of California, San Diego.