The GIS Lens
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Critigen’ Solar Map for Salt Lake City
March 7th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Critigen
Critigen, a global technology consultancy unveiled a Salt Lake City solar map in December 2010. This solar map was built for the citizens of the city. The map, which can be viewed at: www.slcgov.com/solar/, was developed in collaboration with The Solar Salt Lake Project, an innovative partnership among Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Clean Energy and other partners; as well as through work with CH2M HILL and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Cities program. The solar map gives the citizens of Salt Lake City the ability to visit the site, enter in a property address and see a visual snapshot of the property rooftop and its suitability for solar panels.
Critigen has an extensive history of developing solar mapping technologies, including development of solar maps in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles County, Anaheim and Portland. “Critigen’s expertise lies in its ability to manage the often voluminous, complex data sets needed in these large-scale environments; and to turn those disparate data sets into meaningful information, presented in a highly visual way,” said Jeff Akers, Critigen CEO. “Whether in a local government setting using LIDAR or assessors data to create solar maps—or in private sector environments managing large databases, Critigen is a leader in complex data integration.”
In addition to successfully managing the integration of multiple data sets, this latest solar map demonstrates Critigen’s ability to deliver leading-edge visualization technologies. The Salt Lake City map utilizes a multicolored solar layer, where blue indicates lower solar radiation and red indicates an area of higher solar radiation.
Moreover, this data is unique in its accuracy, as it is derived from a three-dimensional LIDAR model of the city, which accounts for individual trees, buildings and structures. These approaches make it simple for property owners to create highly accurate user-defined areas for solar panels in the rooftop areas with the highest solar radiation. The solar map then calculates the system size that will fit into the user-defined area, calculates the amount of electricity that will be generated, and provides information about the cost of the proposed system. If the system is not what the user expected, the property owner can redraw the area to get a different set of results. This tool offers a great deal of flexibility and convenience to those “do-it-yourself” citizens who are interested in solar.