Solar power variability assessment and modeling

Solar power has become a major part of the power supply in several countries, mainly due to dispersed building-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems. A major question in international research is how the variability in solar power, resulting from variations in cloudiness, will affect the power system and its need for further flexibility. We want to improve the knowledge and methods available for studying and predicting this. 

The main goals are to quantify the variability in power generation from any set of dispersed PV systems and to determine their impact on the power system and the need for improved power system flexibility. 

We develop and use novel approaches based on state-of-the art simulation and data collection methods. Refined irradiance monitoring techniques, where the cornerstone is a mobile irradiance meter, allow for construction of large monitoring networks that can monitor the spatio-temporal variability of the solar resource over e.g. a whole city. Improved modeling of PV systems is used to determine expected PV power output from future building-mounted systems. High-resolution LiDAR data are combined with GIS data for buildings to get high-resolution models of building surfaces available for PV systems.

Solar power; Variability assessment; Grid integration; 

Research Group

Project leader
Assoc. Prof. Joakim Widén,

Other project members

David Lingfors, Ph.D. student

Joakim Munkhammar, Postdoc

Built Environment Energy Systems Group (BEESG), Div. of Solid State Physics, Dep. of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University

Links and references

The Built Environment Energy Systems Group (BEESG) website:

Group leader contact information and publications:

Additional funding (apart from StandUp for Energy)

The Swedish Energy agency