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Solar & Alternative Energy

Video: Sensing and mapping solar potential

Will the sun come out? Knowing the answer can have a big impact on the power grid. Jan Kleissl explains a prototype system at UCSD.
13 December 2010, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201012.02

Jan Kleissl is Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, as well as co-Director of the California Solar Energy Collaborative and Associate Director, Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Diego.

His research encompasses environmental fluid mechanics in the atmospheric boundary layer, through field experimental (scintillometry, wireless urban sensor networks) and computational (large eddy simulation, urban / building energy models) techniques. The research is unique in that it spans the spectrum of fundamental work to applications with the goal of increasing environmental sustainability. Sample applications are water conservation through irrigation optimization, energy conservation through urban heat island mitigation, and solar power resource mapping and forecasting. In this video, he explains the sensor network testbed established on the UCSD campus for solar mapping and forecasting.

Solar resource assessment (How much solar radiation can be typically expected?) and forecasting (How much solar radiation can be expected in the next hour or next day?) are critical to expanding the penetration of solar power on the electric grid. Kleissl collaborates with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and was selected by the California Energy Commission and California Solar Initiative to conduct solar resource assessment and forecasting for the state of California.


Disturbed optical waves conserve water
(SPIE Newsroom article by Jan Kleissl on scintillometry work, July 2009)