Dr. Detlev Heinemann
Energy and Semiconductor Research Laboratory
Institute of Physics - University of Oldenburg
D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany
Tel: +49 441 - 798 3543
Fax: +49 441 - 798 3326


PVSAT-2: Weather satellites help improving PV system performance


PVSAT will develop and setup a routine which calculates the yield of PV systems based on radiation data derived from geostationary satellites. The calculated yields will be compared to measured values by an automated decision making system to detect system failures.

PVSAT-2 will make use of the results of the successfully completed JOULE project PVSAT and add new features to it in order to increase the usefulness of the application. The proposed new main feature is the automatic feedback of the produced energy yield and an automated decision making system for the notification of the user in case of a system failure. A small sensor box will detect the energy production and send the figures to a central server station where the real and rated values are compared. In particular, PVSAT-2 will provide:

  • Hardware monitoring and an Internet-based intelligent communication interface (bi-directional, for client-server decision making and utility purposes) including

    • a sensor box integrated into the PV system to collect and transfer the produced energy yield to the server
    • a computer tool to handle the transfer between the data of the PVSAT routine and the measured production values of each individual installation

  • Decision Support System for automatic failure detection and management including

    • decision making rules for the detection of a failure in PV systems on a daily bases,
    • an expert system for the monitoring of the proper function of the PV system,
    • Reduced breakdown times with automatic fault alarm messages,
    • Development of a cost effective service for private customers.

  • Enhanced PV yield calculation scheme improving accuracy and giving information on data quality and utilizing data from next satellite generation (as of 2003)

    • using additional ground measurements to improve the accuracy
    • including information on quality of a calculated value thus supporting the decision making system
    • calculation on daily basis

  • Multi Channel Communication Portal for Customers
    • an interface to the clients (operators, owners, installers, system supplier, etc.)
    • Easy access for customers via a multi channel portal (WWW/WAP/SMS/Email/Phone)
    • Self-administration of the user (advanced human/machine interface)
    • Customer is free to choose surveillance period (daily, weekly, monthly)
    • Customer is free to choose the optimal way for fault alarm (fax, email, SMS, )
    • Low cost Web-based energy meter logging

The implementation of PVSAT-2 on a routine basis will serve the photovoltaic solar energy community with high quality solar irradiance data and management tools for the operation of PV systems. Prototype applications will assess the economic benefit of supplying application-specific data and information.  


  • Title: Intelligent Performance Check of PV System Operation Based On Satellite Data
  • Duration: 11/2002 - 10/2005
  • Aim is the calculation of the yield of PV systems based on radiation data derived from geostationary satellites.
  • The project is funded by the European Commission under contract No. ENK5-CT-2002-00631.


Project Coordinator:

  • University of Oldenburg, Institute of Physics, Energy and Semiconductor Research Laboratory (EHF)


(Changed: 20 Apr 2022)