Solar energy production monitoring in Lyon, using satellite information

Solar energy production monitoring in Lyon, using satellite information © Grand Lyon
Year of update: 2014 | Sectors of application: Environment, climate and health; Energy, infrastructure and utilities | Technology: EO | User type: Public - local, regional

The organisation

The Urban Community of Lyon (Grand-Lyon) is the second largest agglomeration in France and is composed of 58 municipalities. With a population of 1,3 million inhabitants, it is the heart of the country’s second economic pole. For some years now, Grand-Lyon has been deeply involved in consideration about post-carbon cities and the implementation of procedure aiming to prepare the conditions for a change paradigm in the field of climate and energy. They include the signature of the Covenant of Mayors, the Confluence urban project supported by the European Commission and the reinforcement of the competences of Grand-Lyon in the field of energy.

The challenge

Within the EU funded-CONCERTO Renaissance project coordinated by Grand-Lyon, a group of energy efficient buildings for a total floor area of 79 000 m2 have been built in the Lyon-confluence area by three real estate developers according to specific guidelines that included targets in term of energy consumption and use of renewable energy systems. Thus, in addition to wood chip boilers and solar thermal systems, 11 PV systems have been installed for a total power of approx. 250 kWp.

As it was difficult to ask each company in charge of the design and installation of a photovoltaic system to use the same monitoring system, a “district scale monitoring system” has been tailor-made to ensure that all PV systems operate properly on the long term.

The satellite solution

Satellite irradiation data are used by this district scale monitoring system in order to assess the expected hourly output of each PV system. The estimated hourly output is compared with actual production data. In case of difference, an alert is sent to one of the project participant so that the faulty PV system can be repaired as soon as possible.

The results

Thanks to satellite data, all PV systems of the CONCERTO Renaissance installed in the Lyon-Confluence are controlled each day to make sure that they operate properly and malfunction is detected very quickly.

"Satellite data provide an easy way to assess the hourly irradiation data of many different sites"