Sky InSight is an innovative and patented sky camera for the short-term prediction of a solar plant’s production, developed by Reuniwatt. It offers an unprecedented accuracy in cloud detection, by taking advantage of the infrared vision technology. Coupled with Reuniwatt’s predictive algorithms, Sky InSight is able to proficiently predict the production of solar plants.

 

sky camera solar forecasting

 

The first infrared sky camera dedicated to solar energy forecasting

The first infrared sky camera dedicated to solar energy forecasting

Patented by Reuniwatt, SkyInsight is the first sky camera for solar prediction using the infrared technology to monitor the cloud cover.

Improved cloud detection by measuring the sky temperature

Improved cloud detection by measuring the sky temperature

The infrared observation of the ceiling permits to avoid any glare from the sun, and to overcome optical brightness and contrast variations.

Version with embedded forecasts available for remote sites

Version with embedded forecasts available for remote sites

An embedded version of Sky InSight enables it to be used for microgrid projects in off-grid sites.

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Methodology

Sky InSight permits to collect ultra-local information about clouds passing above a solar plant. An infrared camera films a hemispherical mirror, in order to observe the cloud ceiling with a 160° angle corresponding to a 2-kilometer radius. The obtained sky temperature map is then processed to separate the cloudy zones (warmer parts) from the clear sky zones (colder parts).
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Several weather sensors are also embedded into Sky Insight: a solar reference cell, a thermometer, and a humidity sensor. The compiled data contribute to the optimization of the algorithms for solar forecasting using ground images. The data acquisition and transmission system is directly integrated into Sky Insight, thereby facilitating its onsite operational deployment.

In a nutshell, the use of the infrared camera offers many advantages in comparison to optical cameras:

  • Overcome issues related to optical brightness and contrast variations, for a steady performance in every conditions (dawn, sunset, storms…)
  • Get rid of the overexposure area around the sun, also named ‘circumsolar’, and which leads to segmentation errors with standard cameras (see image opposite)
  • Gather additional information on the altitude and optical thickness of the clouds, that enable to classify them based on their characteristics.

 

 

Features

Thermal infrared imaging for a better cloud layers detection

160° field of view, i.e. 2-kilometer radius (depending on landform)

Time resolution down to 1 minute

Included data acquisition system and multi-protocol (FTP, HTTP, MODBUS-TCP) tranfer system

Resistant to extreme conditions (operating temperature: -20 to +60°C / dust and water: IP65 [No ingress of dust and complete protection against water jets])

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