Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Now you can determine the solar efficiency of your roof

17.10.2011
It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable.

Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have launched a tool that uses the actual conditions to determine the maximum possible magnitude of solar incidence - in a whole town, a neighbourhood, or a particular roof. The scientists have surveyed Gothenburg in a pilot project.

"The roofs structures of a town may be more or less suitable for the installation of solar panels, depending on such factors as how much a particular roof is shadowed by surrounding buildings and vegetation, the gradient of the roof, and the angle of incidence of sunlight. It is now possible for the first time to determine how much solar energy a particular roof will receive during the year", says Fredrik Lindberg of the Department of Earth Sciences at Gothenburg University.

The scientists at the University of Gothenburg have worked together with consultants WSP to develop a GIS system that can calculate the potential of actual roofs to produce energy from solar panels. The system is called "SEES" – Solar Energy from Existing Structures – and will be freely available to both companies and municipalities.

... more about:
»GIS »SEES »WSP »solar energy »solar panels

The new tool is based on computer-based geographical information systems (GIS) that collect, store, analyse and present geographical data. This means that the tool describes real roofs in the correct surroundings. The sun in the model illuminates the three-dimensional built environment and simulates how surrounding buildings, terrain and vegetation throw shadows.

The shadow effect can be calculated for each month or for a complete year, and this means that certain parts of a roof may turn out to be unsuitable for collecting solar energy, even though the roof has both optimal direction and gradient. In this way, it is possible to calculate the total solar radiation on each part of a roof structure within a given area, calculated as kilowatt hours per square metre.

Thus, SEES can provide a map over the suitability, based on the user's requirements for good, less good and poor annual solar incidence. Climate data (either measured or calculated values) with a resolution as high as 1 hour is used for the location at which SEES is being used, in order to obtain as accurate an estimate of solar incidence as possible.

"We have used Gothenburg as pilot town in the project, but the method can be used in all municipalities where the necessary data is made available. The users can judge the suitability of a roof for solar voltaic panels or solar thermal panels across a wide range, based on this", says Fredrik Lindberg.

The solar energy project has been carried out by the University of Gothenburg in collaboration with WSP Analys & Strategi, and it has just presented its final report. The project has been financed by the SolEl programme, the Research Foundation of Göteborg Energi, the City Planning Administration of Gothenburg and the Region Västra Götaland County Council.

For more information, please contact: Fredrik Lindberg,
Telephone: +46 31 786 2606
Mobile: +46 73 658 4948
Email: fredrik.lindberg@gvc.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

Further reports about: GIS SEES WSP solar energy solar panels

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors
18.03.2019 | Stanford University

nachricht Robot arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk
18.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>