Two SAM 400-series sensors have been deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of the initiative of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) http://www.energy.gov.sa/. The SAM units will be installed at sites in Riyadh and Jeddah.
Created by royal decree in April 2010, KA.CARE was established to conduct major changes in energy strategies in the Kingdom, decrease total dependence on oil and begin partial transformations toward alternative energy sources such as nuclear, solar and wind energy. At present, the Kingdom consumes a third of its oil production, and domestic demand for electricity in the Kingdom is one of the highest in the world.
One of the first technical programs that K.A.CARE is conducting is the Renewable Resource Monitoring and Mapping (RRMM) Program. Renewable energy is inherently dependent on the local natural resources of the country or region where the technologies are being deployed. Factors such as atmospheric aerosols, weather and cloud patterns, and terrain have an impact on solar and wind resource availability. Thus, a quantitative understanding of the available renewable resources is needed. In Saudi Arabia, the dominant renewable energy source is solar, with contributions from wind, geothermal, and waste-to-energy. The purpose of the RRMM Program is to assess and monitor renewable energy resources and deliver accurate integrated time-series and mapped data products. Three Tiers of solar resource measurement and monitoring stations, defined by the types and quantities of instrumentation, have been established to address the needs for acquiring data that will capture the spatial and temporal variability over the Kingdom. There are 59 solar resource measurement and monitoring stations planned for deployment throughout the Kingdom.
Tier 1 – Research Station
This station tier is the most complete and complex of the measurement systems. Three configurations will be deployed for Tier 1 stations:
· Configuration A – Research and Development Laboratory. This configuration contains the full complement of radiometric instruments with independent and redundant solar radiation component data.
· Configuration B – Solar Resource Monitoring Station. This configuration contains all broadband solar radiometers, selected solar spectral radiometers and photometers, pyrgeometers, and basic meteorological instruments.
· Configuration C – Broadband Baseline Monitoring Station. This configuration contains instrument systems providing fundamental broadband solar irradiances (DNI, GHI, DHI, and GTI) and surface meteorological measurements.
Tier 2 – Mid-Range Station
Based on the installation of a rotating shadowband radiometer (RSR), this station configuration produces fundamental solar resource and surface meteorological data.
Tier 3 – Simple Station
Solar irradiance data from this configuration is limited to global horizontal and plane-of-array irradiance, and is designed to provide solar resource data applicable to flat-plate collector technologies (e.g., photovoltaics).
The SAM sensor is being used as part of their Solar Research Monitoring equipment suites (Tier 1, Configuration B), and will be used to measure Circumsolar Radiation from approximately ¼-degree to 8-degrees from the edge of the solar disk.