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Day-Ahead Solar Irradiance Forecasting for Microgrids Using a Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Network: A Deep Learning Approach

School of Electrical Engineering, Kookmin University, 77 Jeongneung-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02707, Korea
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Energies 2019, 12(10), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12101856
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Grids and Microgrids)
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Abstract

In microgrids, forecasting solar power output is crucial for optimizing operation and reducing the impact of uncertainty. To forecast solar power output, it is essential to forecast solar irradiance, which typically requires historical solar irradiance data. These data are often unavailable for residential and commercial microgrids that incorporate solar photovoltaic. In this study, we propose an hourly day-ahead solar irradiance forecasting model that does not depend on the historical solar irradiance data; it uses only widely available weather data, namely, dry-bulb temperature, dew-point temperature, and relative humidity. The model was developed using a deep, long short-term memory recurrent neural network (LSTM-RNN). We compare this approach with a feedforward neural network (FFNN), which is a method with a proven record of accomplishment in solar irradiance forecasting. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of this approach, we performed six experiments using measurement data from weather stations in Germany, U.S.A, Switzerland, and South Korea, which all have distinct climate types. Experiment results show that the proposed approach is more accurate than FFNN, and achieves the accuracy of up to 60.31 W/m2 in terms of root-mean-square error (RMSE). Moreover, compared with the persistence model, the proposed model achieves average forecast skill of 50.90% and up to 68.89% in some datasets. In addition, to demonstrate the effect of using a particular forecasting model on the microgrid operation optimization, we simulate a one-year operation of a commercial building microgrid. Results show that the proposed approach is more accurate, and leads to a 2% rise in annual energy savings compared with FFNN.
Keywords: microgrid; solar irradiance; forecasting; recurrent neural network; long short-term memory; deep learning microgrid; solar irradiance; forecasting; recurrent neural network; long short-term memory; deep learning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Husein, M.; Chung, I.-Y. Day-Ahead Solar Irradiance Forecasting for Microgrids Using a Long Short-Term Memory Recurrent Neural Network: A Deep Learning Approach. Energies 2019, 12, 1856.

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