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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A GIS-Based Method for Identification of Wide Area Rooftop Suitability for Minimum Size PV Systems Using LiDAR Data and Photogrammetry

1
Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
2
Solar Century, London SE1 0NW, UK
3
FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, University of Cyprus (UCY), 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus
4
Fraunhofer Center for Silicon-Photovoltaic (CSP), 06120 Halle, Germany
5
EMW, Hochschule Anhalt, 06366 Köthen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(12), 3506; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11123506
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
Knowledge of roof geometry and physical features is essential for evaluation of the impact of multiple rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations on local electricity networks. The paper starts by listing current methods used and stating their strengths and weaknesses. No current method is capable of delivering accurate results with publicly available input data. Hence a different approach is developed, based on slope and aspect using aircraft-based Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, building footprint data, GIS (Geographical Information Systems) tools, and aerial photographs. It assesses each roof’s suitability for PV deployment. That is, the characteristics of each roof are examined for fitting of at least a minimum size solar power system. In this way the minimum potential solar yield for region or city may be obtained. Accuracy is determined by ground-truthing against a database of 886 household systems. This is the largest validation of a rooftop assessment method to date. The method is flexible with few prior assumptions. It can generate data for various PV scenarios and future analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar; LiDAR; rooftop photovoltaics; building characteristics; wide-area solar yield solar; LiDAR; rooftop photovoltaics; building characteristics; wide-area solar yield
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MDPI and ACS Style

Palmer, D.; Koumpli, E.; Cole, I.; Gottschalg, R.; Betts, T. A GIS-Based Method for Identification of Wide Area Rooftop Suitability for Minimum Size PV Systems Using LiDAR Data and Photogrammetry. Energies 2018, 11, 3506.

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