Ben Kurtz

PhD in Engineering Sciences (Mechanical Engineering), 2017 UC San Diego


B. Kurtz, F. Mejia, and J. Kleissl, “A virtual sky imager testbed for solar energy forecasting,” Solar Energy, vol. 158, pp. 753-759, 2017. (Preprint PDF)

B. Kurtz and J. Kleissl, “Measuring diffuse, direct, and global irradiance using a sky imager,” Solar Energy, 2016. (Preprint PDF)

B. Urquhart, B. Kurtz, and J. Kleissl, “Sky camera geometric calibration using solar observations,” Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 9, iss. 9, pp. 4279-4294, 2016. (PDF)

G. Wang, B. Kurtz, and J. Kleissl, “Cloud base height from sky imager and cloud speed sensor,” Solar Energy, vol. 131, pp. 208-221, 2016. (Preprint PDF)

B. Urquhart, B. Kurtz, E. Dahlin, M. Ghonima, J. E. Shields, and J. Kleissl, “Development of a sky imaging system for short-term solar power forecasting,” Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 8, iss. 2, pp. 875-890, 2015. (PDF)

H. Yang, B. Kurtz, D. Nguyen, B. Urquhart, C. W. Chow, M. Ghonima, and J. Kleissl, “Solar irradiance forecasting using a ground-based sky imager developed at UC San Diego,” Solar Energy, vol. 103, pp. 502-524, 2014. (Preprint PDF)

The above papers are those for which I was the primary author or to which I made substantial contributions. For additional papers on which I was a supporting author, please see the Kleissl Group Publications page and search for "Kurtz".


My thesis work covers short-term solar resource forecasting using sky imagers. When I joined Jan Kleissl's group, the group had a basic forecast methodology in place, but limited experience. I helped the group expand the reliability of the algorithms, apply them to the new camera we developed, and to deploy cameras and operational forecasts at a number of sites. I also developed a virtual sky imager capability, which allowed us to diagnose the strengths and shortcomings of our algorithm.

Dissertation (PDF)

Some additional resources pertaining to virtual sky imagers are also available.