Germany’s Energy Transition (Energiewende) relies heavily upon solar energy and therefore photovoltaic (PV) technology is evolving fast. In the latest development, a consortium of commercial partners, working together with the University of Kassel and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, have commenced work on a research project to investigate how artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data in combination with digital simulation modelling could improve PV energy systems.
The Digital Twin Solar research project is led by SMA Solar Technology GmbH from Niestetal, near Kassel, and brings together energy solutions providers Tesvolt GmbH and Keo GmbH and the AI data expert eoda GmbH. The partners will focus on the creation of a “digital twin” of a PV system – which will be used as a virtual guinea pig – in order to better predict and improve operational performance and to test new developments.
To do this, the experts must link together individual components within the PV systems and get them to talk to each other to obtain massive amounts of data, which is then fed into the simulation. The digital twin will enable the partners to maximise performance of the PV systems, develop new innovations while minimising downtime, reduce maintenance time and costs and generally operate the solar parks and storage systems more efficiently and reliably.
The project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy with around EUR 3.5 million over a period of three years.