logo Solar Energy

Solar energy

According to a study of the think-tank Ember, “solar power produced 4.5% (1,284 TWh) of global electricity in 2022. Global solar electricity generation rose by 24% (+245 TWh), from 1,039 TWh in 2021 to 1,284 TWh in 2022. This was the 18th year in a row that solar was the fastest growing electricity source by year-on-year percentage change.” However, the performance of solar power plants significantly depends on weather conditions. Therefore, it is essential to understand and monitor the impacts of atmospheric conditions to manage efficiently the energy production and the operation of power systems.

HYGEOS provides the SolaRes service…

Thanks to its expertise in radiative transfer and atmosphere modelling, HYGEOS can offer the SolaRes® service. It aims at an operational worldwide provision of solar resource estimate both in near real time and on historical archive forms, for the needs of solar power operators. SolaRes® relies on the detailed simulations by the SMART-G software, a radiative transfer code conceived by HYGEOS, able to reproduce all the physical processes (absorption, scattering, transmission, reflection) resulting from the interactions of the sun radiation with the atmospheric components (molecules of water, ozone and other gases, various types of aerosols, cloud droplets) and the Earth’s surface. Furthermore, it allows fast calculations through massive parallelization using graphic cards.

solar panels

… resulting from sustained innovation.

For many years now, HYGEOS has been undertaking continuous research and development on solar resource applications for photovoltaic and concentrating solar power plants. The starting point was the ASoRA project in collaboration with EDF: HYGEOS has studied the impact of aerosols on power generation by concentrated solar power plants. This activity has been supported by innovative research through a PhD work, defended in March 2021, to reproduce the interactions between, on one hand, the solar radiation and, on the other hand, the atmosphere, the ground surface and any objects, in a 3D environment, to provide the best estimate of the solar resource in a solar tower power plant.

HYGEOS pursues the improvement of its tools by collaborations with research laboratories and industry. A study with the Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique validates the SolaRes® output in clear-sky conditions. The performance in all-sky conditions were compared with public or industrial products in a Challenge organized by TotalEnergies and in the ESA-funded SteadyCast project. So far, all studies demonstrate that HYGEOS solar resources estimates reach state-of-the-art quality and perform equally or better than the other products available on the market.

More details about recent HYGEOS projects on solar energy: