Capacity factor for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems#


This diagnostic computes the photovoltaic (PV) capacity factor, a measure of the fraction of the maximum possible energy produced per PV grid cell. It uses the daily incoming surface solar radiation and the surface temperature with a method described in Bett and Thornton (2016). The user can select temporal range, season, and region of interest.

Available recipes and diagnostics#

Recipes are stored in recipes/

  • recipe_pv_capacity_factor.yml

Diagnostics are stored in diag_scripts/pv_capacityfactor/

  • pv_capacity_factor.R: prepares data and plots results.

  • PV_CF.R: calculates the daily capacity factor.

User settings#

User setting files are stored in recipes/

  1. recipe_capacity_factor.yml

    Required settings for script

    • season: String to include shortcut for season in plot title and name (e.g. “djf”). It will be converted to upper case. This season should be the one set in the preprocessor, since it is only used as a string and does not affect the data in the diagnostic. In the default recipe this is solved through a node anchor.

    Optional settings for script

    • maxval_colorbar: Optional upper limit for the colorbar.


  • tas (atmos, daily, longitude, latitude, time)

  • rsds (atmos, daily, longitude, latitude, time)

Observations and reformat scripts#

  • ERA-Interim


Example plots#


PV capacity factor calculated from IPSL-CM5-MR during the DJF season for 1980–2005.