The solar eclipse has long been a research opportunity for astronomers and physicists. Now, energy researchers are taking part, too.
Monday’s eclipse will disrupt U.S. solar energy production during a time when energy use is at its peak, and it’ll do so in a very predictable way across a huge area. That will allow researchers, including some at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden Colorado, to test projections and software that could balance energy supplies and demands.
“What we plan to do,” says Santos Veda, an engineer at the Renewable Energy Lab, “is expand this framework to be applicable for a variety of future wide-area events like a storm or future eclipse.”
He says research on events like this could help the grid become more reliable as solar panels are added in the future.eer at the Renewable Energy Lab. He says research on events like this could help the grid become more reliable as solar panels are added in the future.