Bluesky Maps Solar Potential of Social Housing
May 17, 2011-- Working with leading carbon reduction company Sustain, Bluesky is helping a number of Housing Associations across the UK make the most of their housing stock’s solar energy potential. Using high resolution aerial photography combined with detailed 3D models Bluesky are able to measure the potential for solar energy generation for individual properties based on a number of contributing factors such as roof size and aspect. These measurements are helping the Housing Associations produce income from Feed-in Tariffs, reduce energy bills for householders and decrease carbon emissions.
“To date, working with Bluesky, we have calculated the potential solar energy yield of nearly 15,000 properties across the UK,” commented Antony Scott, Senior Associate at Sustain Ltd. “Using the data supplied we are able to calculate the potential yield on a roof by roof basis. This can then be amalgamated into a value for the entire stock. We then work with the individual Housing Association to offer advice on funding options and on procurement, as well as management of the installation programme.”
Bluesky calculate the energy potential using high resolution aerial photography combined with 3D models of the earth’s surface to determine the size, aspect and gradient of each roof in the study area. The suitability of each roof is also considered taking into account sharp angles and other impediments such as sky lights or dormer windows. Potential obstructions such as nearby buildings or trees can also be identified and mapped. This data is combined with a given panel size to determine the number of potential panels and an estimate of solar irradiation.
Using the Bluesky generated measurements Sustain calculate the potential yield of each property based on the number of panels, provided by Bluesky, and the recorded roof aspect and slope. The algorithms used by Sustain also take into account the location of the property to normalise the calculation from optimum or maximum to a realistic ‘expected’ or average yield.
Bluesky has a unique method of generating solar potential maps using photogrammetric techniques to accurately measure and record factors that may contribute to the suitability of a property for photovoltaic (a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation) systems. Bluesky’s experienced photo interpreters are trained to identify and record potential obstructions such as neighbouring properties or trees and can provide measurements for other environmental energy projects such as wind turbines and heat pumps.
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