Artificial intelligence helps measure sunlight

A Saudi Arabian scientist has developed a new tool that can efficiently predict availability of solar rays at different locations in the kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East.

His model can help fellow scientists and solar operators make the best possible plans to harvest energy from the sun.

This new software-based tool predicts the incidence of solar radiation at a given place through feeding parameters, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and sunlight availability, into a computer-based system known as a “fuzzy system”. The system then provides projections for solar radiation availability for the next day1.

“Solar plants depend on the level of incident solar radiation on solar panels,” explains the study’s author Majid Almaraashi, assistant professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Knowing an expected level of radiation beforehand can help manage different aspects of power plants including storage, operations, and finally, hybridization with other power resources. “A reliable prediction method with small errors is of great importance,” he says. read more

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