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International

Journal of Advanced
Research
in Engineering RESEARCH
and Technology IN
(IJARET),
ISSN 0976
INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL
OF ADVANCED
ENGINEERING
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 6499(Online)
Volume 5, Issue 10, October
(2014), pp. 157-164 IAEME
AND TECHNOLOGY
(IJARET)

IJARET

ISSN 0976 - 6480 (Print)


ISSN 0976 - 6499 (Online)
Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 157-164
IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ IJARET.asp
Journal Impact Factor (2014): 7.8273 (Calculated by GISI)
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IAEME

ASSESSMENT OF SOLAR ENERGY DISTRIBUTION FOR


INSTALLING SOLAR PANELS USING REMOTE SENSING
& GIS TECHNIQUES
Hameed Majeed Saber*,

Deepak Lal**

*Ministry of Electricity-Directorate General for the production electrical energy northern regionSalahuddin-Mullah Abdullah power plant gas- Republic of Iraq
**Shiats Allahabad, INDIA

ABSTRACT
Many cities across the world are encouraging the use of solar energy technologies in
promoting the concept of sustainable cities. The active and passive applications of solar energy could
effectively transform neighborhoods, commercial districts, and urban areas into small, localized
power plants.
The current study was conducted in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology
& Sciences, Allahabad, India to assess the potential of installing solar panels on the roof tops of its
various buildings. Monthly and yearly accumulated solar radiation maps were generated for the
study area using Solar Analyst module in ArcGIS 9.3. The monthly and yearly accumulated roof top
solar radiation for each building under consideration was extracted from the respective solar
radiation maps. The buildings were ranked according to the amount of potential solar radiation they
received.
Keywords: GPS. ARC GIS SOFTWARE.
INTRODUCTION
The overall demand for renewable energy assimilation to the power grids highlights the
significance of economic and technological issues connected with growing levels of flat-panel photo
voltaic, concentrated solar power, penetrations into the power grid. These concerns arise from the
variable nature of the solar resource, seasonal deviations in production and load profiles, the high
cost of energy storage, and the balance between grid flexibility and reliability [1, 2]. Because of this,
solar plants are often backed by ancillary generators for periods of high unpredictability, which
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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 6499(Online) Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 157-164 IAEME

increases the capital and operational costs of solar generation. Precise solar forecasts over several
time horizons are required so that independent system operators or equivalent grid balancing
authorities are able to successfully integrate increased levels of solar power production while
maintaining reliability [3-5]. Solar forecasts on multiple time horizons become increasingly
important as solar penetration grows for the purposes of grid regulation, load-following production,
and power scheduling along with unit commitment. Short-term, intra-hour solar forecasts are
particularly useful for power plant operations, grid balancing, real-time unit dispatching, automatic
generation control and trading [6-8]. Forecasts for longer time horizons are of interest to utilities for
unit commitment, scheduling and for improving balance area control performance. In this regard, a
spectrum of solar forecasts is required to address the planning. In satellite-based remote sensing,
sensors acquire data on the way various earth surface features emit and reflect electromagnetic
energy and these data are analyzed to provide information about the resources under investigation.
Clear water absorbs relatively little energy having wavelengths less than about 0.6 mm. high
transmittance typifies these wavelengths with a maximum in the blue-green portion of the spectrum
and provides clearly the contrast between land and water features and therefore is best suited for
identification and mapping perennial streams. All forms of remotely sensed images are nonselective
in nature and cannot be directly integrated into applications. An interpretative process is necessary
before useful thematic information relating to environment can be extracted from these images. Thu
s, the process of visual interpretation of wide variety of remotely sensed data is a complex intuitive
process of combining evidential information from different sources and subjecting such information
to an experts knowledge, experience and heuristics at each levels namely detection, identification,
analysis, recognition and classification of the process [9-11]. It calls for the analysis of a number of
related information by a domain expert. An expert system shown in Figure 1.1 is developed with
computer-based program in ArcGIS that uses knowledge, facts and different reasoning techniques to
solve problems. The associated information and logical reasoning that are used by a well-trained
human interpreter are encoded in the form of rules and facts. Locating potential sites for PV panels
should also take into account other factors based on the scale and types of installation involved.
More specifically, for rooftop solar panel installation, shadow effects due to surrounding obstacles
and roof structure are important factors to consider. Regarding ground-mounted solar panel
installations, environmental and economic concerns, and energy generation potential should be taken
into account during the site selection process [12-15]. For example, installation sites should be
located away from forest areas and environmental sensitive land. Proximity to existing transmission
facilities is desirable for reducing transmission loss. In some regions with abundant dust, effects of
dust accumulation on the performance of solar panels are important. In order to consider these
factors and to identify potential sites for solar panel installation, a Multicriteria Analysis (MCA) is
undertaken in this study. This work will examine the potential benefits of using spatial analytical
techniques for identifying optimal sites for roof-mounted solar panels at the micro-scale level and
ground-mounted solar panels at the macro-scale level
OBJECTIVE OF THE PRESENT WORK
The overall objective of this project is to evaluate the amount solar radiation received at the
roof tops of various building in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences
(SHIATS) by combining GIS and remote sensing techniques.
The accumulated solar radiation for each month over various buildings of SHIATS are
analyzed in this study. Additionally, based on total accumulated annual solar radiation, the various
building of SHIATS are ranked according to their potential for installing solar panel.

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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976
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The specific objectives of the current study are as follows:


1- To study the spatial distribution and amount of solar radiation under clear-sky conditions for the
various buildings in SHIATS.
2- To determine suitable buildings based on the amount of solar radiation received for installing
the solar panels.
Study Area
The current analyses was based on solar radiation accumulated from the roof tops of the
various building of SHIATS (Figure 3.1). The buildings considered in the present study are listed in
table 3.1.

Figure 3.1: Buildings Within The Study Area

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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 6499(Online) Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 157-164 IAEME

Data Utilized
The primary data used in the present study was a Cartosat-1 Digital Elevation Model
(CartoDEM). CartoDEM is a National DEM developed by the Indian Space Research Organization
(ISRO). It is derived from the Cartosat-1 stereo payload launched in May .
METHODOLOGY OVERVIEW
The amount of incoming solar irradiance can be estimated using a variety of techniques. For
example, solar radiation from dispersed observation points can be interpolated to generate a
continuous solar map by geo statistical techniques that estimate solar radiation levels via
interpolation methods. Multivariate statistical methods can also estimate solar radiation by
accounting for multiple variables affecting the radiation in artificial intelligence models. For the
application of geostationary satellite imagery, meteorological factors from specific bands, such as
visible and infrared bands, can be used to estimate the radiation under various sky conditions. Data
with land surface elevation information are also commonly used, while considering shadow effects
and obstacles.
Incoming solar radiation amounts, considering shadow effects, provide the main indicator of
solar energy supply or inputs in the present study. The output products at both micro- and macroscales of the study will be accumulated with the help of radiation maps that could be subsequently
used for site selection for solar panel installation.
In the present study the Solar Analyst module in ArcGIS 9.3 was to calculate the amount of
solar radiation received at the rooftops of the SHIATS's buildings. A survey was conducted to gather
the location, shape and size information of each building. A GPS was used to acquire the latitude &
longitude information for each building considered in the present study. The latitude & longitudes
were imported within the ArcGIS environment. Based on the latitude & longitude information, the
roof tops for each building were digitized within ArcGIS
SOLAR RADIATION MODEL
The solar radiation analysis tools in ArcGIS calculate incoming solar radiation or insolation
across a landscape or for specific locations, based on methods from the hemispherical view shed
algorithm developed by Rich et al. (Rich 1990, Rich et al. 1994), as further developed by Fu and
Rich(2000, 2002).
The total amount of radiation calculated for a particular location or area is given as global
radiation. The calculation of direct, diffuse, and global insolation are repeated for each feature
location or every location on the topographic surface producing insolation maps for an entire
geographic area. The equations used in the solar radiation model are described below (ArcGIS
documentation).
Global Radiation Calculation
Global radiation (Globaltot) is calculated as the sum of direct (Dirtot) and diffuse (Diftot)
radiation of all sun map and sky map sectors, respectively.
Globaltot = Dirtot + Diftot

(3.1)

Direct Radiation Calculation


Total direct insolation (Dirtot) for a given location is the sum of the direct insolation (Dir,)
from all sunmap sectors:
(3.2)
Dirtot = Dir,
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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 6499(Online) Volume 5, Issue 10, October (2014), pp. 157-164 IAEME

The direct insolation from the sun map sector (Dir,) with a centroid at zenith angle () and
azimuth angle () is calculated using the following equation:
Dir, = SConst * m()* SunDur, * SunGap, * cos(AngIn,)

(3.3)

Where:
Sconst is the solar flux outside the atmosphere at the mean earth-sun distance, known as solar
constant. The solar constant used in the analysis is 1367 WM-2. This is consistent with the World
Radiation Center (WRC) solar constant.
is transmisivity of the atmosphere (averaged over all wavelengths) for the shortest path (in the
direction of the zenith);
m() is the relative optical path length, measured as a proportion relative to the zenith path length
(see equation 3 below).
SunDur, is the time duration represented by the sky sector. For most sectors, it is equal to the day
interval (for example, a month) multiplied by the hour interval (for example, a half hour). For partial
sectors (near the horizon), the duration is calculated using spherical geometry;
SunGap, is the gap fraction for the sunmap sector;
AngIn, is the angle of incidence between the centroid of the sky sector and the axis normal to the
surface (see equation 4 below).
Relative optical length (m()) is determined by the solar zenith angle and elevation above sea level.
For zenith angles less than 80o, it can be calculated using the following equation:
m() = EXP(-0. 000118 * Elev - 1. 638 * 10-9 * Elev2) /cos()

(3.4)

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


The availability of incoming solar radiation was the primary considerations when assessing
potential solar panel installation sites on SHIATS's buildings' rooftops. The solar radiation
calculation was implemented by the area solar radiation tool in ArcGIS software associated with
elevation data as the primary input. The accuracy and quality of collected data were not investigated
in this study. The data have known geometric errors due to systematic and random errors from the
instrument during the collection phase. Geometric calibration could not be performed without
available ground control points for reference. The elevation and geo referencing of buildings may not
be very accurate, which may result in errors in the solar radiation estimations. Fortunately,
information about rooftop structures could still be achieved from recorded elevation information,
which allows for reliable assessment of spatial patterns of incoming solar radiation. In other words,
although the absolute heights of buildings were not recorded correctly during the data collection
phase, the relative comparisons of the buildings roofs were correct. Based on these heights, roof
structures can be easily recognized and analyzed. All of the analyses at the micro-scale level were
based on solar radiation maps deduced from data.

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International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976
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As previously described, solar radiation availability and shading effects are two main factors
for determining optimal sites in the micro-scale building site assessment, while shading effects were
taken into account during the solar radiation calculation. However, incoming radiation estimates may
not be accurate, since the estimates are highly dependent on weather conditions, while in this study,
only clear sky conditions were considered. As a result, potential energy production was estimated
based on an ideal circumstance, and actually results would be less than the estimates.
The total amount of solar radiation received at the Earth's surface varies seasonally. Solar
radiation flux reaches its maximum during the summer months, which in turn, will have a higher
impact on the yearly optimum tilt angle. It is also important to consider that a minimum structural
setback from roof edges should be applied for safety.

Figure 4.5: Accumulated Annual Solar Radiation Distribution for SHIATS's Buildings
From this figure, it's apparent that Jacob School of Biotechnology & Bioengineering (JSBB)
is receiving the highest amount of solar radiation for a given year followed by Department of Plant
Pathology, Vice Chancellor's Office, Directorate of Seed & Farm, Department of Chemistry, etc .
Rest of the buildings are shown in figure 4.8.

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Figure 4.8: Rest of the SHIATS's Buildings in Terms of Annual Solar Radiation Received
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The current study was conducted in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology
& Sciences, Allahabad, India to assess the potential of installing solar panels on the roof tops of its
various buildings. A survey within SHIATS was conducted to obtain latitude and longitude points
for each of the building considered in the current analysis. Google Earth's high resolution imagery
was utilized for digitizing the roof tops of the buildings.
Spatially distributed solar radiation maps were generated for the study area and the data was
extracted for each of the building. The potential of installing solar panels on SHIATS's buildings was
assessed by analyzing the total solar radiation that potentially gets accumulated on each building.
The buildings were ranked according to amount of solar radiation they accumulated.
Annually, the highest amount of solar radiation was accumulated on the roof top of Jacob
School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering followed by Department of Plant Pathology and the
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Vice Chancellor's office respectively. The least amount of solar radiation was found to be
accumulated on the roof top of School of Film and Mass Communication preceded by the
Department of Horticulture and Office of the Registrar respectively.
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