Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The shadows in a city reveal its energy flow

28.11.2011
Researchers at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM, Spain) have created “shadow models” and a type of software that calculates the amount of solar radiation that reaches streets and buildings in high resolution. According to the results published in the Research Journal of Chemistry and Environment, they could help to optimise the energy consumption of cities.

“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
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht MTU engineers examine lithium battery defects
27.01.2020 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht New electro-pulse plant at TU Freiberg enables energy-efficient processing of high-tech metals
23.01.2020 | Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

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: Integrate Micro Chips for electronic Skin

Researchers from Dresden and Osaka present the first fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits which opens the path towards the development of electronic skin.

Human skin is a fascinating and multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with...

Im Focus: Dresden researchers discover resistance mechanism in aggressive cancer

Protease blocks guardian function against uncontrolled cell division

Researchers of the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC), together with an international...

Im Focus: New roles found for Huntington's disease protein

Crucial role in synapse formation could be new avenue toward treatment

A Duke University research team has identified a new function of a gene called huntingtin, a mutation of which underlies the progressive neurodegenerative...

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Blue Acceleration: Recent colossal rise in human pressure on ocean quantified

27.01.2020 | Earth Sciences

Dance of the honey bee reveals fondness for strawberries

27.01.2020 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

MTU engineers examine lithium battery defects

27.01.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>