Short-term solar radiation forecast using total sky imager via transfer learning

Prajowal Manandhar, Marouane Temimi, Zeyar Aung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ground-based sky cameras, which capture hemispherical images, have been extensively used for localized monitoring of clouds. This paper proposes a short-term forecasting approach based on transfer learning using Total Sky-Imager (TSI) images of the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site obtained from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) dataset. An accurate estimation of solar irradiance using TSI is key for short-term solar energy generation forecasting and optimal energy consumption planning. We make use of deep neural network architectures such as AlexNet and ResNet-101 to extract the underlying deep convolution features from TSI images and then train using an ensemble learning approach to model and forecast solar radiation. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed approach by showcasing the best and worst cases. Thus, the transfer learning approach significantly reduces the time and resources required for modeling solar radiation. We outperform with reference to another state-of-art technique for solar modeling using TSI images at different forecast lead times.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)819-828
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Reports
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Deep transfer learning
  • Energy
  • Forecasting
  • Sky imager
  • Solar radiation


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