Gradient Boosting Models for Photovoltaic Power Estimation Under Partial Shading Conditions

  • Nikolaos Nikolaou
  • Efstratios Batzelis
  • Gavin Brown
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10691)


The energy yield estimation of a photovoltaic (PV) system operating under partially shaded conditions is a challenging task and a very active area of research. In this paper, we attack this problem with the aid of machine learning techniques. Using data simulated by the equivalent circuit of a PV string operating under partial shading, we train and evaluate three different gradient boosted regression tree models to predict the global maximum power point (MPP). Our results show that all three approaches improve upon the state-of-the-art closed-form estimates, in terms of both average and worst-case performance. Moreover, we show that even a small number of training examples is sufficient to achieve improved global MPP estimation. The methods proposed are fast to train and deploy and allow for further improvements in performance should more computational resources be available.


Gradient boosting Solar energy Photovoltaic (PV) system Maximum power point (MPP) Partial shading Machine learning 



This project was partially supported by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training [EP/I028099/1] & the EPSRC LAMBDA [EP/N035127/1] & Anyscale Apps [EP/L000725/1] project grants. N. Nikolaou acknowledges the support of the EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship. E. Batzelis carried out this research at NTUA, Athens, Greece under the support of the ‘IKY Fellowships of Excellence for Postgraduate Studies in Greece-Siemens Program’.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaos Nikolaou
    • 1
  • Efstratios Batzelis
    • 2
  • Gavin Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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