Cloud spy cams could make solar panels work better. - Grist


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Cloud spy cams could make solar panels work better.

It’s a familiar refrain — the sun doesn’t always shine, so how can we depend on solar? And there are issues with solar over- or underwhelming electrical grids.

One company has a very James Bond solution to fight back against one of solar’s biggest enemies, clouds. Fulcrum 3D, an Australian tech company, uses a CloudCAM network of cameras to scan the sky around a solar installation and identify which clouds on the horizon look like potential visitors. Once identified, the system can adapt to the coming energy shortage (or glut).

It’s unclear whether cloud spyware will prove to be a big thing beyond its initial deployment at a solar farm at the Karratha airport. Still, just check out this list of “challenging cloud events” that CloudCAM can handle: spontaneous cloud formation; cloud shrinkage and disappearance; multi-level cloud, including clouds moving in different directions; cloud disappearance and emergence.

I, for one, welcome these new cloud emergence spybots.