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Special Issue "Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the Photovoltaic (PV) Energy Conversion Chain."

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 1652

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Diane Palmer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.
Interests: Meteorology for predicting and monitoring photovoltaic energy production; Geographical Information Systems; Satellite modelling; Remote sensing; Optimal location of power plants; Solar potential analysis of rooftops; Solar Irradiation Variability; Typical Meteorological Years

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As governments focus on renewables, solar energy production capacity has grown rapidly in recent years. It is a fast-evolving industry. The most important element in the photovoltaic industry is solar radiation. Thus, accurate modelling and prediction of the quantity of solar radiation, and its geographical and temporal distribution is essential for effective solar resource utilization and optimal system location. Geographical Information Systems are a helpful tool for this task.

Many photovoltaic systems are grid connected. Large electrical distribution grids tend to be centralised, and were originally designed to supply energy and not receive multiple inputs. Solar production could potentially challenge the operational security of the power system. More information is needed regarding the timing and location of PV electricity injection.

This issue will focus on the use of GIS to support modelling of the PV energy conversion chain from irradiance to system location and impact on the transformer grid. Contributions are welcomed on any, multiple parts, or all of the modelling chain. That is, of the sequence of analyses, tool development and models which transform solar resource data to power supply knowledge. Submissions may cover: mapping of solar irradiation from theoretical models, weather stations data or satellite instruments; mapping electrical output; location and layout of domestic, commercial and utility-scale systems, including rooftop extraction; shading effects; study of geographic divergence of generation; and future scenarios.

We look forward to receiving your papers.

Dr. Diane Palmer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • photovoltaic
  • solar energy
  • solar resource assessment
  • solar irradiation
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • spatial interpolation
  • satellite irradiation
  • aircraft-based LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)
  • roof characterisation
  • PV penetration
  • site evaluation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Evaluation of High-Resolution Satellite-Derived Solar Radiation Data for PV Performance Simulation in East Africa
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11852; - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 888
Access to reliable, clean, modern cooking enhances life chances. One option is photovoltaic cooking systems. Accurate solar data are needed to ascertain to what extent these can satisfy the needs of local people. In this paper, we investigate how to choose the most [...] Read more.
Access to reliable, clean, modern cooking enhances life chances. One option is photovoltaic cooking systems. Accurate solar data are needed to ascertain to what extent these can satisfy the needs of local people. In this paper, we investigate how to choose the most accurate satellite-derived solar irradiance database for use in Africa. This is necessary because there is a general shortage of ground measurements for Africa. The solar data are needed to model the output of solar cooking systems, such as a solar panel, battery and electric pressure cooker. Four easily accessible global horizontal irradiation (GHI) satellite databases are validated against ground measurements using a range of statistical tests. The results demonstrate the impact of the mathematical measure used and the phenomenon of balancing errors. Fitting of the satellite model to the appropriate climate zone and/or nearby measurements improves accuracy, as does higher spatial and temporal resolution of input parameters. That said, all the four databases reviewed were found to be suitable for simulating PV yield in East Africa. Full article
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