In a new weekly update pv magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, presents the solar radiation data it collected over northern India last week. Cyclone Biparjoy significantly affected the production of solar electricity in the region.
The cyclone season in the North Indian Basin is from April to December. Although the Bay of Bengal typically has more than twice as many cyclones, it is still common for storms to form in the Arabian Sea and move into northwestern India and southern Pakistan.
Solar Irradiance clearly shows the lingering effect of Cyclone Biparjoy in the region. Although the storm had been downgraded to a “tropical depression” by June 17 due to weakening winds and rainfall, swirling clouds around the weakening core still covered a large area of northwestern India and significantly reduced solar output by more than 50%.
Elsewhere in India, solar output was high as monsoon activity remained mostly offshore to the southeast during this period. However, the clouds with monsoon showers are often very thick and in place, so where they occur, solar production is interrupted much more violently and for a longer period of time compared to typical rain showers in mid-latitudes. An El Niño pattern is developing in the Pacific Ocean, which could affect the monsoon season in India, where it is associated with drier than normal conditions.
Solcast produces these figures by tracking clouds and aerosols with an accuracy of 1-2 kilometers worldwide using satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This information is used to drive irradiance models, allowing Solcast to calculate irradiance with high resolution, with a typical error of less than 2%, and also cloud tracking forecasts. This data is used by more than 300 companies that manage more than 150 GW of solar energy worldwide.