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How much sun will you harvest today?

PES was delighted to catch up with Birk Kraas, Commercial Head of Meteorological Services at CSP Services. He leads a team with experience in highly specialized and customized measurement equipment. Between them, they have built up a large bank of knowledge and know-how over many years. Being able to carry out work remotely, as well as having a network of local partners on the ground, have both proven valuable over the last year.

PES: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Birk, it’s lovely to welcome you to PES Solar. For those not familiar with CSP Services, could you give us a brief introduction to the company and what
you do?

Birk Kraas: Our name is our program, in CSP Services we concentrate on solar power services, historically for concentrating solar power (CSP) projects, but for several years now also for photovoltaic plants.

We are an independent consulting company that offers highly specialized and customized measurement equipment and services. As a privately founded spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) we establish bridges between science and industrial ventures. Our mission is to advance sustainable projects around the world: efficient, economical, durable and environmentally friendly, always with an open mind towards new approaches.

PES: Broadly speaking, what products and services do you offer?

BK: Our spectrum of products and services is fairly large. For example, we supply large scale geometric measurement systems for solar concentrators of up to 200 m² size requiring sub-millimeters assembly accuracies. We perform prototype testing and look for possibilities to optimize the solar field operation, by flying with drones equipped with highly specific optical measurement technology.

In solar resource assessment we install and maintain customized automatic weather stations for solar projects worldwide. The data is then processed by us to provide bankable solar resource reports, ranging from single sites to complete country or regional studies. Due to our extensive knowledge about solar plants and their energy source, the sun, we then developed an advanced now- and forecasting system. This was the birth of ‘Q4cast’.

PES: We’d be interested to learn more about your irradiance now- and forecasting system, Q4cast. How does it work and what’s its purpose?

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