Solar Power Forecast Tool - BETA
Here at SolarQuotes, in collaboration with WeatherZone, we have developed a tool to help you forecast your solar system's output up to 48 hours ahead.
Today's Solar Power Tracker: (based on 48h cloud cover and temperature forecast in Sydney)
Today's forecast energy production:18kWh
Value of electricity generated today:$5.08
(calculated at 30c per kWh)
Value of electricity generated in 1 year:$2,135
(assuming 100% self consumption)
Current Solar Rebate on a 5kW system:$3500
Tomorrow's Solar Power Tracker: (based on 48h cloud cover and temperature forecast in Sydney)
Tomorrow's forecast energy production:8kWh
Just select your nearest capital city from the menu and the size of your system and…voilà! The tool will show the hourly solar panel power output in kW. The red bar is the current reading. Hover your mouse on a bar to see the energy (in kWh).
Oh, and by the way, here at SolarQuotes we have some other handy tools to help you find your way through the tons of information available out there: make sure to check out our solar payback calculators, check how many panels will fit on your roof with our solar estimator and know more than many solar salesmen after reading our dummies guide to solar.
Please note this is a beta tool: so if you please let us know if you find it inaccurate (or even if you find it super-accurate!). We've back tested the predictions using lots of data from pvoutput.org and we reckon it's pretty good.
How does it work?
The amount of energy a solar system will produce over the course of a year is very predictable. You can simply multiply the 'number of kWs installed' by the 'average daily sun hours' for your location, and you’ll get an average daily energy production, measured in kWh.
Multiply this number by 365 and that’s the amount of energy you can expect to get from a solar system in 1 year.
However predicting the actual energy you’ll produce today or tomorrow is a lot harder than calculating the average over 365 days.
The tool uses 3 main inputs:
1. Your position on the earth relative to the sun's position in the sky. This determines how much light falls on the panels.
2. The predicted cloud cover from our partners at Weatherzone.
3. The forecast air temperature.
We crunch those numbers to predict how much solar energy you’ll get today and tomorrow. The tool assumes north-facing panels angled at about 30 degrees from horizontal.
How might this be useful?
Here are some examples:
1. Deciding whether to boost your hot water cylinder with off peak power overnight.
If it looks like it will be a really bad day for solar tomorrow, and your solar hot water system is powered by solar PV, then it would be prudent to boost the cylinder with cheap electricity, instead of expensive daytime electricity tomorrow when there is not enough solar.
2. Seeing if your solar system is working properly. Is it producing close to the forecast power?
3. Deciding whether to charge or discharge your battery overnight.
4. Deciding whether to run your pool pump overnight, if it looks like you won't have enough solar to power it in the day.
If you want to use our forecast tool for a funky application of your own contact us. If we get enough interest we'll create a free API.
And if you want a solar power station on your roof (or want to upgrade or maintain an existing system) click here and we'll do our best to get you 3 free quotes from installers we trust.