“Solar radiation that falls on a certain point in the city varies depending on the time of day, the weather conditions, the pollution level and other variables,” explains Roberto San José, lecturer at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). He adds, “what we have done is calculate radiation using supercomputers that simulate the vast amount of data involved in the entire atmospheric process.”
The method involves throwing up to 100,000 rays of light for just a few seconds from any position and verifying the point of collision upon reaching obstacles. Calculations are so complex that they have required the powerful machines of the Supercomputing and Visualization Center of Madrid (CEsViMa-UPM) and the Mare Nostrum supercomputer at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to work for 72 hours in order to achieve just 6 seconds of light and shadow evolution for an area of Madrid, Spain.
In order to carry out the study, which was published in the Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, global meteorological data provided by the USA’s National Center for Atmospheric Research has been taken. Information applying to Europe and Spain was taken from this data before homing in on a more local level. The starting point of the whole process lies in an open source of geophysical research called EULAG.
The researchers have conceived two mathematical “shadow” models in which the first supplies data to the second. One shows highly detailed, 3D images of the behaviour of radiation while the other reveals the exchange of energy that occurs in a selected area. Urban morphology plays a crucial role in the energy balance.
San José explains that “depending on urban layout, at a certain time of day there will be rays of light that collide with the tarmac, the pavement and other buildings. They are then successively reflected until they create different degrees of shadow on the surface.”
The team has set up their two models in an IT tool named SHAMO (SHAdow MOdel), a software that allows for shadows and solar radiation in any city to be quantified. In particular, cubic areas with a base of 1 km x 1 km and a height of 400 m are analysed with a resolution of 4 m.
The energy optimisation of a city
San José states that “the results can serve as a tool for sustainability and energy optimisation in cities from both an architectural (a shaded building requires more internal heating that a building in the sun) and urban planning point of view. In this sense, results can be used in the search for harmony between human and natural energy consumption.”
The researcher exemplifies this: “The heating is often turned on during the day and turned off at the night but in some cases could be the other way around. For instance, sometimes the amount of solar radiation that reaches a building is enough to keep in the warmth that has accumulated from the heating being on during the night.”
This study forms part of the European BRIDGE Project on urban metabolism, a concept that perceives the city as a living organism in search for a sustainable energy balance. The department of urban planning at Madrid City Council has already expressed their interest in the tool.
SINC Team | alfa
Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy