Next Article in Journal
Spatial-Temporal Patterns of Bean Crop in Brazil over the Period 1990–2013
Previous Article in Journal
Ontology-Guided Image Interpretation for GEOBIA of High Spatial Resolution Remote Sense Imagery: A Coastal Area Case Study
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(4), 106; doi:10.3390/ijgi6040106

A Sparse Voxel Octree-Based Framework for Computing Solar Radiation Using 3D City Models

1,2,3,* and 1,3,*
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287, AZ, USA
Zhejiang-CAS Application Center for Geoinformatics, Jiashan 314100, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 19 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5386 KB, uploaded 5 April 2017]   |  


An effective three-dimensional (3D) data representation is required to assess the spatial distribution of the photovoltaic potential over urban building roofs and facades using 3D city models. Voxels have long been used as a spatial data representation, but practical applications of the voxel representation have been limited compared with rasters in traditional two-dimensional (2D) geographic information systems (GIS). We propose to use sparse voxel octree (SVO) as a data representation to extend the GRASS GIS r.sun solar radiation model from 2D to 3D. The GRASS GIS r.sun model is nested in an SVO-based computing framework. The presented 3D solar radiation computing framework was applied to 3D building groups of different geometric complexities to demonstrate its efficiency and scalability. We presented a method to explicitly compute diffuse shading losses in r.sun, and found that diffuse shading losses can reduce up to 10% of the annual global radiation under clear sky conditions. Hence, diffuse shading losses are of significant importance especially in complex urban environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D solar radiation model; photovoltaic energy; 3D city models; sparse voxel octree 3D solar radiation model; photovoltaic energy; 3D city models; sparse voxel octree

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Liang, J.; Gong, J. A Sparse Voxel Octree-Based Framework for Computing Solar Radiation Using 3D City Models. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 106.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top